Hothouse Video: Harder, Glorious

Kate Gilmore Heartbreaker

Kate Gilmore, Heart Breaker, video, 2008, Courtesy of David Castillo Gallery

Dates: July 10 – September 14, 2014
Location: Capitol Skyline Hotel Lobby, 10 I st. SW, Washington DC 20024
Opening Reception: July 10, 2014, 6-8pm


The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

-Thomas Paine

The philosopher Albert Camus suggested the myth of Sisyphus − his ceaseless and pointless toil− as a metaphor for our modern condition, our lives spent in futile jobs in monotonous settings. And yet he also offered “the struggle itself…is enough to fill a man’s heart.”

The works in this exhibition poetically and humorously evince that sentiment − that life is a struggle and there is beauty, absurdity, futility, and even reward in the journey.

Silvia Rivas’s animated house flies repeatedly attempt to break free from their computer-generated boundaries and are thwarted time and time again. But just like real flies, they return determined − and annoying − as ever to continue their aimless quest. Merike Estna wrestles with a canvas painted in soothing pastels (a metaphor with which all artists can identify), yet we are struck not only by the absurdity of her struggle, but also the beauty and contraposition of the surrounding landscape.  Cheryl Pope’s confrontation with a room full of water balloons invites us to contemplate the challenging “head space” that conflict creates. Kate Gilmore’s comical and destructive labors offer us perhaps the most insight into our own heart-filling and absurd exploits. Peter Eudenbach’s table in the surf leaves us cheering and believing in the words of Thomas Paine.

In art, just as in life, the energy expended is not always proportionate to the outcome derived. Sometimes it is the struggle that is the reward. And sometimes, the results are glorious.

Participating Artists
Merike Estna, Tallin, Estonia; Peter Eudenbach, Norfolk, Virginia; Kate Gilmore, Miami, Florida;Cheryl Pope, Chicago, Illinois; and Silvia Rivas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


About Hothouse Video 
As a natural extension of its long running Experimental Media Series, WPA launched Hothouse Video, a series of contemporary video works by local, national, and international artists to be presented in the hotel lobby.  Part of WPA’s Hothouse series of exhibitions and events at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, Hothouse Video introduces exceptional artists and artworks to the DC community and to the substantial number of visitors, both national and international, who visit the hotel. Each Hothouse Video project runs approximately 6 weeks.