In "Always," Hannah Perry goes to great lengths to make an exhibition that looks polished and professional. Unfortunately, that's just about all the young British artist's U.S. debut has going for it. At Steve Turner Contemporary, the two-room installation lacks focus, resolution and point, its bells and whistles no substitute for substance.
Two types of work fill the main gallery.
On the floor stand five sculptures. Made of welded steel, mirrored or frosted vinyl, metal cables and hefty subwoofers, each is nearly 8 feet tall. When garbled sounds and loud noises come out of the speakers, the sheets of vinyl vibrate, creating rippling effects that are mildly interesting, at least initially.
Mounted on the walls are nine panels made of aluminum or mirrored Plexiglas. On each, Perry has silk-screened images that appear to be generic screen grabs from the Internet, as well as messy brush strokes, in red or blue. One has a subwoofer suspended in front of it.
The speaker cables join together and lead visitors to a darkened back gallery, where a 12-minute digital video, titled "You're Gonna Be Great," plays. Two customized seats vibrate when the video's soundtrack is loudest, recalling the "Sensurround" effects from "Earthquake."
Unlike that 1974 movie, Perry's video is plotless and unengaging, its combination of images, sounds and text a mishmash that leaves you wanting less.