I’m curating a show Friday, October 3 in the space next to Vacuum Shop Studio. It will be open from 6 – 10pm.
This show is a collection of videos that have a material physicality, and images that have something of the look of the digital world despite being singular and physical. Creating the look of the digitized with its internal light source, transparent surface, and aligned vectors seems ill suited to painting, but Rebecca Kaufman’s work is a low-fi approximation of all three. Their printed digital images are frozen, angled, and flooded with unreal color- a reminder of the limits (and the beauty) of the screen. There are other quirks of the host materials that lend them self to the physical, like the confusion of offset grids that create the moiré patterns reconstructed by Grant Billingsley, and the mechanical linear printing—mimicked in Jered Sprecher’s work. The flat surface of Barbara Weissberger’s photos feel like a determined last move, to force the objects, images, and objects with images on their surfaces back into the realm of illusion.
The videos are textural and visceral despite their dematerialized state. In Yara Pina’s Sem título (Untitled) 2, 2011, the charcoal that is released by her actions envelopes her in its shadow while it slowly shades the lens of the camera, creating an atmosphere similar to the grainy prints of early photography. Itziar Barrio’s BAILALO, 2009, sets up a strip-tease scenario with a gyrating torso and eye-catching colors, which becomes complicated by the words slowly revealed by successive shirts; ‘You have to know your customer’. With each reveal, the viewer renegotiates their position to the subject (“You”, ”You have”, “You have to”), and materialization of that which seems guaranteed from the beginning is thwarted by mention of the transaction as such. John Pearson’s Daylight Landscape, 2001, is a reminder that the camera is not just an eye, but an eye contained inside a mechanical body, which we hear and sense through the jolt produced when it comes in contact with palm trees. The space is collapsed not just between our eye, Pearson’s, and the camera’s, but also between our bodies and their negotiation of the LA landscape.
Itziar Barrio lives and works in New York.
Grant Billingsley lives and works in New York.
Rebecca Kaufman lives and works in Knoxville.
John Pearson lives and works in Los Angeles.
Yara Pina lives and works in Goiânia, Brazil.
Jered Sprecher lives and works in Knoxville.
Barbara Weissberger lives and works in Pittsburgh and New York.