Bemelen has cleaned up the place but has left the two exhibition rooms essentially as they were. Showing in the north gallery is Being, Environment & Placement, which features recent paintings by John Clark; in the south gallery is Lisa Marie Patzer's Veiled Depressions.
Clark's familiar post-minimal abstractions, which are always good, have been widely exhibited in the past five or six years. The new works in Being, Environment and Placement fall into three groups: striped paintings, pattern paintings and a trio of paintings in which Victorian houses appear as pale, ghostly images.
Patzer's very different show might lead viewers to think that she is a photographer and an installation artist, because Veiled Depressions is filled with photos supplemented by an installation. But these artifacts are actually the documentation and props for a Patzer performance piece. In fact, the photos weren't even taken by Patzer, but by Vicki Kerr. The installation comprises several pieces of diaphanous fabric, one of which is pierced by pearl-headed straight pins; in the performance, Patzer had this dangerous-looking thing draped over her face and body, as seen in the photo above. Yikes.
In the corridor that connects the two spaces, Clark and Patzer present a collaborative video titled "Insensate Stasis," in which contracting and expanding body parts are put front and center, so to speak. In an unfortunate -- if hilarious -- coincidence, Patzer asked me, just as her anus filled the monitor's screen, if I wanted her to identify the different body parts that were recorded. "No, thank you," I said, without even a trace of sarcasm.
Individually and together, Clark and Patzer let it all hang out at the Soup, through Sunday.