In the Backstock Gallery's debut exhibition, Lauren Douglas presents a grouping of works that explore how we navigate time and focuses on what Douglas calls "the in between". The name of the show is derived from an Italo Calvino story called "A Sign in Space" in which he examines the passage of time from the perspective of losing oneself to it. Ultimately the main character tries to make a mark in time with the idea of finding it again, light years later. Using this as a jumping off point, Douglas simultaneously explores the tension between trying to define one’s own life through forced gestures and the ultimate realization that, in the end, we simply exist within the time-space continuum that life lays out for us.
However, instead of approaching this topic with any sense of convalescence or angst, Douglas instead delves into this realization full force by looking deeper at the profoundness of the seemingly mundane. Her photographs document the beauty of light as it reflects on water encouraging us to pause and realize all that we are missing as we rush through our lives. She examines horizons, appreciating their suggestion of what lies ahead but also our inability to every fully reach them as they keep moving away from us, just out of reach.
Her Star Fields contemplate the blurry line between reality and imagination through hand crafted constellations that at once both mirror the precise way that light reflects off water and the way in which we try, however feebly, to control the path and ultimate outcome of our lives.
Also included in the exhibition is a new installation in which Douglas immerses us in rippling water. Constructed using a video projection, mirrors and a subtle soundscape, this installation brings the ideas explored in her photographs to stunning conclusion. The power and beauty of something so eemingly mundane becomes an immersive experience in which the viewer is encouraged to step into Douglas’ world, and if only for a fleeting moment, soak in the profoundness of what is right in front of us.
Lauren Douglas is an Oakland based-artist who has been exhibited at Hatch Gallery, The Royal None Such Gallery, Adobe Backroom Gallery and SF Camerworks. Douglas was born in Carson City, Nevada and raised on the Central Coast of California. She received her BA from San Francisco State University in 2005 and is currently an MFA candidate at Mills College. This is her first solo exhibition. www.laurendouglasprojects.com