When his Illinois State University MFA thesis show was cancelled this past spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anthony Hamilton did what artists must do now more than ever: he combined creativity with resourcefulness. The result is Running from the touch on my back, a scrupulously installed, one-off apartment show in the place he had unfettered access to, namely his own home. The elements are four: a meditatively slowed-down video of a lake in Ireland named Lareen; the offering of a small pile of sea glass; a slide of a grave in a garden, doubly projected, like a sun setting, the glare simultaneously beautiful and painful; and a second video, a poem of static, spheres, waves and bodies, written in words and geometry. It helps to know that Hamilton’s grandfather’s father drowned in this body of water, a fact recounted in an accompanying catalogue though not in this version of the artwork. Regardless, the tone feels mournful, the effect memorial. An artist’s musings on loss is invariably driven by the personal, but in its expression it can reach out beyond the self to others. I, too, pick up sea glass by the shore.
—Lori Waxman 2020-10-16 2:39 PM