Last year I started running a loop that spanned the East River, and I got the crazy notion of creating a massive rainbow connecting Queens and Manhattan, without the slightest notion of how to manifest such an art project. Luckily, I don’t have to; another artist has figured out how to, in Omaha.
June 1–September 15, 2012
Michael Jones McKean
The Rainbow: Certain Principles
of Light and Shapes Between Forms
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S 12th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Opening weekend: June 21–23
Michael Jones McKean’s The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms creates a simple but phenomenal visual event—a rainbow in the sky. The public artwork will produce temporary rainbows above the Bemis Center using the most elemental materials: sunlight and rainwater. Twice per day with clear sun, for 20 minutes each, a rainbow will appear above Bemis Center’s downtown building.
A rainbow operates as an egalitarian visual experience. It is by nature temporary, undetermined, and wonderful. The Rainbow exists somewhere between real and representation, actual and artifice. McKean is deeply interested in the rainbow as a complex form—ephemeral and steeped in mythology—that possesses an out-of-time existence as pure optical phenomena. The image of a rainbow extends through time, surpassing our known and archived histories, and operates as a constant unchanged form. Although the symbol of a rainbow has been co-opted, politicized, branded, and commodified, an actual prismatic rainbow still has an ability to jolt us from the everyday. It feels hopeful, yearning, optimistic, ghost-like, and meaningful.