For her second solo exhibition at On Stellar Rays, Zipora Fried presents new drawings and photographs, furthering her dedicated and protean drawing practice.
Densely accumulated lines dominate the artist’s drawings; a graphic language developed over the past decade that has since informed new experiments in photography and sculpture. Implicit to her extended labors has been an attempt to suspend time, to hold at bay the “seepage of fatal time, of entropy into each and every living form.”* Thusly, the persistence of the line in Fried’s work has succinctly addressed temporal chronology and the act of drawing itself. Her new body of work foregrounds a parallel concern with collective and personal histories.
A series of large black and white photographs of the artist as a child simultaneously reveal and obscure personal origins. In identical images, the artist’s facial features are materially masked by clumps of woolen thread stitched through the photographic paper. A displaced self assails both personal and archival registers.
Salon Noir exacts a compelling equivalence between drawing and photography. Partly this is a formal equivalence – monochromatic surfaces and a purposeful economy of means - but more importantly both media are subsumed into a singular field, gathered together to embody the complexities and contradictions of biographical narrative. The artist’s distrust of verbal or written language, manifest previously in her transposed diaristic drawings, resurfaces in images as psychological muteness.
The title of the show refers to the celebrated site of Paleolithic cave drawings in Niaux, France. The cavernous entry chamber is named Salon Noir for its dark setting. Fried evokes the veiled mystique of the grotto, an atavistic analogy to the subliminal threshold of artistic impulse.