Romantic Disillusion

Cosmonauts, 2005, by Ed Gomez

The Romantic tradition has always attempted to reproduce such strong, almost imperialistic emotions as awe, horror and fear into music, art and writing. What began as a reactionary period against all things the rational Enlightenment stood for, Romantic art deals heavily with the heroism of the individual—namely the artist—and the belief that nature is unsurpassed in terms of wonderment.

Starting Saturday, the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana will exhibit the work of some 20 artists under the psycho-circus name Delusionarium 3. This show's theme? The Romantic. Utilizing "installation-based works," from "performance, to drawing and painting, to sculpture, kinetic sculpture and video," the artists will attempt to reduce this loaded topic into an aesthetic experience that engages the viewer without overpowering the artwork.

Part of a series of exhibits initiated in 2004 by LA artist Jesse Benson, Delusionarium 3 attempts to build a relationship between the physical artwork, the exhibition space and the chosen topic. The Delusionarium crew believes that too often artwork is overshadowed by the exhibit space; it becomes an autonomous side note to its surroundings. Now couple that with the frequent occurrence of curatorial projects being tantamount to artists' visions, and the Delusionarium statement reads something like a how-to instruction manual for making a wholly cohesive art show.

Delusionarium 3 at the Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 567-7233; Open Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Through May 21. Free.

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