Adrienne Trent, Jennifer McMackon, Richard Storms, Alan Belcher, Michael Balser and Sharon Switzer
Curated by: Natalie Olanick
26 June 1997 - 2 August 1997
Opening Reception 26 June 1997 8pm
Pseudonyms and Similarities
The exhibition explores the potential of fantasy to undermine fixed viewing and speaking positions, the possibility of changing places as a means of destabilizing subjectivity.
“Chuck the map and wander, tourism fails us…the greener grass is but a show-lawn. This fertile astroturf remains unmarked, this home-grown is neighborhood not. Maybe, maybe not. Buzz bonus level: Pino & Piero, Eduardo & Yayoi, Muramatsu & Murakami, Hybrid & Fluxus, Didi & Dixie, John & Tanya, Hikkaduwa & Bukittinggi, pocari Sweat & Ginseng Rush, Funyuns & Cheetos, Bucky-balls & Beanie-babies; and Peter Puppy’s last word as a haggis…”
– Alan Belcher
This space in which gendered identity breaks down, the subject spills over into the matrix of the scenario, no position is stable or essential. All the artists in the show employ images from a variety of sources (old photos, junk food, corporate logos, internet codes, etc) and through mutation discover diverse pop and technological associations that speak to their audiences and their own selves. The materials that they use emphasize the broad range of media: soft sculpture, painting, video and computer generated images.
“In my work I borrow the structure of ‘testing’ from the arena of science. I am interested in psychological and perceptual tests. Their persistent attempts to objectively measure subjective information seem perfectly analogous to the canons and discourse of contemporary art; subject to the same social and historical constraints and equally prone to collapse.”
– Jennifer McMackon
My question is how to describe a space that evaporates into a void. The activity of free play can never be stable. A forgotten memory appears at an untimely time and recasts all interpretations. The layers of doubt that lay beneath each decision shift the concerns and interests creating links and connections that previously were not in play.
“A century old Axminster carpet graced the living room of my grandmother’s house for ninety years, worn thin with use and darkened with age and dirt. In my delirium the carpet lifts and twists from the floor, drenched by a hard luminous ice blue coating. Multi-coloured, contoured amoebae-like forms embellish this tough surface. My grandmother survived a bout of Diphtheria in her childhood a disease that killed scores of children from that period. The disease has resurfaced in a new, drug-resistant form.”
– Adrienne Trent
Fantasy’s undoing. Subjectivity’s containment. The free play in fantasy space is held in check by the need to have desires fulfilled. The boundaries become the progenitors of pleasure, the pleasure in movement, the pleasure in mastery.
“The diagrams we draw…the words we align”
“Pan Am’s corporate identity..its logo, its building, the markings on its planes represented to me everything that was stylish and sophisticated and it transported my imagination”
– Richard Storms
The pleasure in movement is a fence that is woven together with the construction of codes and language that is constantly changing and being re-defined by the progression of time and culture. The artists’ are participating in this construction and as a result offer us personal insight into the public arena.
“The aura that exists in certain old photographs is the possibility of a connection between us and what no longer exists. My fingers touch those figures, creating a bridge that does not allow easy passage as I layer another level of technology and history to these photographic images. My computer has allowed me to haunt old photographs as they haunt me.”
– Sharon Switzer
The recognition of loss, the acknowledgment that self-discovery is something equally as painful as pleasurable. The pain of the disaster becomes inexplicable in the landscape of discovery.
“My work is an equation [x+y] x = 2xy. Computer assisted composites are built with digital image processing. I use the materials that I collect, digitize, manipulate and archive to develop a picture and text based narrative about ‘new’ communications technology. I am most interested in making work which expresses the ways in which technology has impacted the body my body specifically.”
– Michael Balser
The events and activities form a montage of looking, questioning yourself looking, and questioning yourself. the pleasure in remembrance, the woven fence made of recognition of the unknown or forgotten. A boundary that protects the self from the impact of the world. The security and comfort offered by memory becomes a tool that is used to conquer/create new worlds; like it or not, that appears to us as is nothing has changed.
– Natalie Olanick, 1997