Highlight is pleased to present Chris Fraser’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, “In Stereo”. The exhibition is open from December 12th, 2013 through January 31st, 2014, with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, December 12th, from 6 to 8pm.
Open one eye and light becomes image. Open both and it becomes space.
In previous bodies of work, Fraser has dealt with the externalization and abstraction of sight through the camera obscura. For the present show, he has transitioned from the mechanics of sight to its physiology.
We see the world in stereo – one image with the right eye, another with the left. Our effort to resolve this disparity creates a sense of depth. We put faith in this experience because we have a history of verifying it through touch. But in rare cases, we may perceive depth in its physical absence.
A rainbow is an optical flaw, noise created when the ordinary parameters of vision have been breached. As white light exits a drop of water, it is bent at various angles and broken into a spectrum of colors. The rainbow is visible, but not present. It is pure vision masquerading as matter.
Even the slightest change in location can alter the appearance of a rainbow. Under normal circumstances, this goes largely unnoticed. But here, the relationship between light, viewer, and refractive medium has been inverted and exaggerated. As you stand parallel to the glass surface, the halo is round. But as you move, it will bend, break, or even invert in relation to you. The phenomenon is yours and yours alone.
The halos Fraser makes appear to hover around the light source. But close one eye and the apparition will collapse onto the wall. Due to their proximity, the mind interprets these binocular images as a single, substantial thing. To dismiss this experience as an illusion would be to misunderstand the synthetic nature of vision. While this sense of depth may appear hallucinatory, unverified by touch or instrument, the ability to resolve two distinct images into a whole is in itself very authentic. Vision does not verify or report on the real; it simply translates light into image.
Chris Fraser (b. 1978) lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He holds an MFA in studio art from Mills College and a BA in history from the University of California, Davis. Fraser has been awarded the Jay DeFeo Prize, a graduate fellowship at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and has had residencies at KALA Art Institute and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Selected group exhibitions include: “Personal Structures” at Palazzo Bembo as part of the 55th Venice Biennale (Venice, Italy),“Lightopia” Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein Germany), “MFA Selections” di Rosa (Napa, CA), “Proceed” CR10 (Linlithgo, NY) alongside Christian Marclay, Andrea Zittel, Tony Feher, and Marepe, amongst others, “In Passing” Disjecta (Portland, OR), “documentO” Krowswork (Oakland, CA), “Bay Area Now 6” Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), “Darkness and Light: Image and Object Cultivated in the Wild” Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, CA), and “3020 Laguna Street In Exitum”, Highlight Projects (San Francisco). Selected solo exhibitions include: “Eidolons” Highlight (San Francisco), “Cross Section” Highlight at NADA Hudson (Hudson, NY), and “The Air Around Us” Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento (Sacramento, CA).