Of course she could never have imagined, when she first collaborated on a film for her exhibit “Visceral” two years ago at Gallery 81435 that one work in particular would take on greater resonance, and command a much wider stage, two years later.
But such are the times we live in — and light-sculpture artist Katy Parnello, whose film highlighting contemporary dance will be projected on the Transfer Warehouse for three hours Thursday evening, from 5-8 p.m. during ArtWalk, is very much aware of the personal, and poignant, implications of the piece in light of recent events.
She’s also grateful for the space in which it is being exhibited, which has greatly expanded from the indoor confines of Gallery 81435, where the film (a collaboration between Parnello, filmmaker Scott Upshur and choreographer Jamie Jackson, Jr.) first screened in December 2018.
For three hours tonight, the film is being shown outside: it’s being projected on the expansive, sprawling façade of the Transfer Warehouse.
The showing is part of “The Body Electric,” an exhibit at Telluride Arts’ three spaces (the Transfer Warehouse, Gallery 81435 and Telluride Arts HQ Gallery) that celebrates movement, humanity and “our unique light.”
The projection on the façade is titled “Come Over” — something so hard to do these days. Something you wish might easily happen.
The film, just three-minutes long, tells the story “of someone dancing alone in their own room, and what goes on in your imagination,” Parnello said. “To be honest,” because of the work’s brevity, and the way it is being projected onto the brick façade of a historic building, “It looks like a music video. I doubt many people will see it as a story. But it’s so fitting for right now, when all of us — unless you’re part of a family, or live with roommates — have been spending so much time alone. I know a lot of people like that. A couple of months after we began sheltering in place last spring, I ran into a friend who lives alone. She said, ‘I haven’t touched another person in two months.’ A lot of us are living this way, whether we like it or not.”
The Transfer Warehouse has helped with that. Since March, the open-air building has become the very model of a pandemic exhibition space, utilized for safe, socially distant film screenings (The Tiny Film Series and Tiny Concert Series were held there this fall) and more.
“The Wilkinson Library has been an awesome partner,” said Telluride Arts’ associate Austin Halpern. “They host music classes there,” and there have been poetry and book readings from local authors, as well. “We usually had a capacity of about 60 over the summer and fall. Many people who visited told us it was the first live music they’d heard in months. There’s definitely an intimacy to the space, with its walls around the edges,” and big sky above.
“It feels personal, and definitely allows you to have a connection with the artist standing in front of you.”
The success of these events (and the constraints of these times) have inspired Telluride Arts’ programmers to begin looking outside the box — or rather, outside the warehouse. Last month, during ArtWalk, there was a projection event — dancing lights and colors — on the walls of the building.
Tonight, there is a short story: between 5-8 p.m., you can watch “Come Over.”
“Covid has changed the way we look at the warehouse, and the programming we bring to it,” Halpern said frankly. It is a change that won’t be undone by a vaccine: “Going forward, this will change how we think about developing that space.” (A good number of people who’ve attended events there have reported the same thing, Halpern said: “Wow, it’s working so well without a roof.”)
“We’re really excited about projections on the façade. It’s a new way of expressing art in the community, and to use that space as a canvas is exciting to us,” Halpern said. “Projection mapping” on the warehouse’s walls “is a whole new genre we’re just starting to explore. It feels super timely to have this outdoor, immersive, large-scale experience that people can see from the street, something that grabs people’s attention and hopefully excites them.”
As Parnello put it of the exhibit at the Warehouse, “You can’t come in, unfortunately. But you can definitely come over.”
“Come Over” screens on the Transfer Warehouse façade from 5-8 p.m., the same time that participating ArtWalk galleries and venues exhibit new works. For a complete list of what’s on, visit telluridearts.org.