FLASHPOINT BETWEEN THE FLEETING AND THE ETERNAL
AndrewShire Gallery presents Flashpoint between the Fleeting and the Eternal, an exhibition of photographs by artists Ginny Cook, Marilyn Galosy, Laura Menz, Christine Nguyen, Tracy Powell, Linda Sewallius, Carly Steward and Kristine Thompson. Their images provide an overview of recent photography being made by artists living in Los Angeles.
Ginny Cook photographs the names of endangered and extinct plants she has scribed, cut out, and collaged on paper. After each collage has been made, she then lights and photographs it. Cook's work not only nourishes the theory that abstract concepts exist in things as their essence, but it also conveys how culture divides things from each other by establishing linguistic customs that govern the value of things to which words are assigned.
Marilyn Galosy makes straightforward black and white photographs that evoke consideration of recent histories imprinted on the American landscape. She follows the map of her own psyche through a found network of places left behind on back roads and forgotten highways. Galosy's images present uncomplicated scenes where events occurred with human passage and philosophical destinations may have been reached, but where it is likely that a time of uncertainty followed.
Laura Menz illustrates a cryptic side of alienation by digitally reworking her series of self portraits in which she appears to take the form of a creature from some other place. The black and white images show someone possibly from another planet or someone who has been altered by the cruelty of earth, but clearly the subject is rendered as the outsider who floats between the isolation and freedom that engulfs a stranger upon arrival in a strange land.
Christine Nguyen has taken photographs of the Northern California coast. Each image of foggy cliffs at shoreline points, big mountain rocks, sea plants and crustaceans is a reminder of the shapes, thoughts, and experiences to be found in an age of electronic reproduction. Her snapshots, some of which have salt crystals growing on them, mirror our projections of the biological and geological spots along the California coastline where loss of the natural has been prearranged.
Tracy Powell applies photography in a manner that can erode one's sense of refuge. In her work titled The Seven, prints of land mass fragments are used to orchestrate visual information about leisure rights, environmental concerns, and land control through the marketing of products hewn out of nature. Her panoramic set of color photographs works to nullify forms of paramnesia that distort memory, so one's inanity is exposed to the tender point at which theory can do nothing.
Linda Sewallius photographs the disappearing residential facades and Hollywood movie-set-like architecture found in the Los Angeles cityscape. Like something seen in street style black and white dreams, meaning is laid on a certain feeling of having been there once before. But when the camera peers behind the noir-like facades, it finds only anxiety, loneliness, and the sense of non-place known to the suburban dwellers who are waiting for life to resurface on their sidewalks.
Carly Steward uses photography to draw attention to museum supports, mounts, and stands for artworks. The artwork, which represents culture, is missing from each photograph, leaving only the prop manufactured by the builder who makes sure the object of culture made by the artist is held up for display. Steward also uses photography to make sculptures. Each sculpture is designed to create an illusion of looking into a display case while calling attention to the viewer's body.
Kristine Thompson sets the stage for an engagement with artwork from the past and with artists who are no longer around to speak for themselves. She mingles with Ana Mendieta, Hannah Wilke, and Bas Jan Ader mapping out fantastic dream associations with them. In one series titled (Not) Knowing Felix, Thompson positions herself in relation to the late Felix Gonzalez-Torres by interacting with relics of his works that she has taken from museums and galleries over the years.