`Niagara Falls': artwork combining sculpture and TV

Shigeko Kubota is described as a ``video sculptor'' -- a new specialty in the arts, and a thriving one. If the idea of combining sculpture and TV sounds too cold or technical, her new work should help correct that impression. ``Niagara Falls: Summer, Fall, and Winter'' is as attractive and outdoorsy as its title. Seen during a recent installation at the Kitchen in New York, the sculpture stood in the corner of a large, darkened room. Its vertical rear surface held a number of television monitors showing views of Niagara Falls and the surrounding landscape. In front of these a sheet of very real, very wet water cascaded from above into a pool on the floor, which also held shards of broken glass. Meanwhile, a video projector cast hazy nature-images onto the whole assemblage. The sound of a waterfall roaring in the distance completed the effect.

Although television is usually thought of as a literal medium, ``Niagara Falls'' is a surprisingly expressive work in which video images are dominated and transformed by the plastic elements around them. The result is neither TV nor traditional sculpture but a true amalgam of both.

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