Suzanne Walsh for Inland Empire Weekly Amazed and Astounded at David Michalek: Figure Studies

"Humanity in Slow Motion," by Suzanne Walsh, Inland Empire Weekly

David Michalek is a California born artist based in New York that is focused on telling the story of the contemporary human through elegant and thoroughly provocative examinations of the human body in motion. For his exhibition “Figure Studies,” showing through December at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Michalek presents video artworks that borrow from the solemn majesty of still photography although his subject matter is anything but still. Part intimate portrait, part scientific exploration, his HD video pieces utilize the latest technology to capture five-second choreographed performances recorded at an incredibly high frame rate. When played in real time, the five seconds captured stretch to a length of 10 minutes or more—in essence defying the laws of physics within the realm of photography—the capture of a single experiential moment. In this case that “single moment” has been bundled together with other moments, sequentially, and pulled across time. The result is a highly detailed look at the how the body performs for every instant it is moving, working, being. Even the most mundane action under Michalek’s rapid and meticulous gaze becomes strikingly beautiful.