For anyone that has not seen Alexander Sokurov’s epic masterpiece “Russian Ark,” Michiko Itatani’s current exhibition, “HyperBaroque,” offers an eerily similar experience. Much like Sokurov’s 2002 film, we are presented with a situation that calls into question the precise nature of time and place. Where the “Ark” is set exclusively in St. Petersburg’s Russian State Hermitage Museum, Itatani’s ghostly world is not set in a single location, but rather functions much more like a Grand Tour of her impressions of various Baroque interior spaces. Inspired by venues such as Milan’s La Scala opera house, places that fulfill their function when full of people, Itatani’s versions are noticeably lacking in the physical presence of a human, unlike Sokurov’s filmic retelling of history, teeming with human activity. Itatani employs mark-making, invented iconographies (phantom, halo-like circles that drift aimlessly throughout rooms), and even laptops to announce that although these rooms may appear to be vacant, they are certainly not unoccupied. (Steven Wirth)
Through March 29 at Printworks Gallery, 311 W. Superior.