“Absent/Present,” the two-person show featuring Kate Gilmore and Zsuzsanna Szegedi at Montserrat College of Art Gallery, started out with a fairly obvious concept. Gilmore is always present in her performance-based videos and Szegedi tends to vanish from hers. But as the exhibit developed, curator and gallery director Leonie Bradbury writes in her catalog essay, the theme played out in deeper ways.
The question of absence or presence applies as easily to the art as to the artists. Szegedi’s smart, enveloping, and elusive “A Proper Erasure” happens over time, in two spaces. She created a massive, operatic wall drawing in another gallery on campus. Three white-garbed dancers proceeded to erase the drawing with their bodies, sponges, and a damp broom.