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)black(, 2010 © John Pearson


Los Angeles, CA 90012
September 2nd, 2010 - September 25th, 2010
Opening: September 4th, 2010 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Sat-Sun 12-6; or by appointment.
black photography video-art, rocks, james dean, saturn, griffith park



Solo exhibition by John Pearson

September 2 - 25, 2010

Gallery Hours:  Thursday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm

Opening Reception:  Saturday, September 4, 6 - 9pm


WPA is proud to present )black(, a solo exhibition by John Pearson featuring a new video and selection of photographs.


Both the video and photographs are primarily taken throughout Griffith Park; the observatory, its gallery of dioramas and the figurative sculptures on its grounds, and the nearby quarry tunnels known as Bronson Caves.  The photographs are associative observations of phenomena; in combination they are an insight into Pearson’s experience of place.  They are not a cataloging of the park’s sites and landscape. They are distillations of rock, light, dirt, darkness, which reveal both an intuitive fascination with elemental incidents, and an examination of an individual’s actual and perceptual place in the world.


When presented in unison the starkness of the black and white photographs along with the layered, color saturated video elaborate an exploration of the dynamics of light to vision.  In discussing this work Pearson offers fundamental questions about vision and its dependence on light - What is vision?  How do you represent vision?  How do you come to terms with the assumptions of vision?  Can the camera represent this? How can the camera be more closely aligned with the body?


The silent video 780,000,000 Miles Away adds time, color, and motion to Pearson’s observations and experiences.  Its title comes from an announcement that Pearson heard while waiting in line to see Saturn through the Griffith Park Observatory’s huge telescope.  It was the distance that particular night from Earth to the planet Saturn.  Among the imagery of this work is footage of the Bronson Caves along with the gouged out eyes of the bronze bust of James Dean on the observatory grounds.  Both operate as crude apertures constraining but still receiving light into a sheltered dark interior.  This association conveys a sense of the artist's inquiry.  Aligning these disparate apertures he evokes bodily vision and creates a direct experience of the perception and sensation of light.


These photographs and video extend beyond explanatory representations, and into propositions that interrogate our assumptions about vision and take pleasure in a base and direct revelry of phenomena.  Avoiding a systematic and arbitrary legibility, this work engages a broader capacity of the medium and the viewer in an exploration of the affinities between vision, subject, and mechanical apparatus.



An evening screening of a broad selection of the artist's videos will be presented at WPA on Thursday, September 23 at 8pm.