Echo of Echo
Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present a fall group exhibition, Echo of Echo, featuring work by Erich Bollmann, Dawn Clements, Ivan Iannoli, Jason Bailer Losh, Michael John Kelly, Keaton Macon, Julie Orser, Damaris Rivera, Rachelle Rojany, Samantha Roth, and Cody Trepte.
Echo of Echo investigates the complex notion of the copy, doubles, duplicate imagery, remix, reflexivity, and multiple viewing platforms.
The exhibition responds to the literary theory of mise en abyme coined by Andre Gide in 1893. Gide specifically refers to narrative mirroring, in which a character in a story writes the actual story in which he is a character. It is a version of an internal cloning of narrative structure. There are points in plot lines when meanings get convoluted; the instability of which lends itself to the notion of deconstruction. Used in filmic strategy as well, the recursive quality of narrative can also be understood as a “dream within a dream”.
In visual art history, mise en abyme refers to a formal technique whereby an image contains a smaller copy of itself; with this pattern occurring in infinite repetition. A famous example is the Diego Velasquez painting "Las Meninas" where the viewer is privy to a scene watching the painter watching the subjects- the king and queen, who are watching the scene before them and whose reflection can be seen in a mirror opposite. Thus the subjects of the painting are actually in the pictoral space while physically being outside of the painting.
In his drawings, Erich Bollmann offers impossible structures that conjure physical space while refuting it. Each drawing is framed against a patterned background of objects- some familiar, others abstracted. The geometric structures float over a pastiche of repeated imagery, which reference quotidian experience, and pop culture.
Dawn Clements offers viewers various perspectives in her drawing. The artist compiled images of her recent travels within a sketch- book carried throughout the summer. Several images are repeated; scale shifts and space is distorted.
Ivan Iannoli’s photographs are a product of the middle ground between desire and the frustrating inability to fulfill intention. The photos titled “Failed Documents” point to the artist’s acceptance of mistakes made during creating work. Instead of establishing control and thus having expectations, he allows the process of image making to derive their own potential. Images are found, captured and printed or transferred; then manipulated, obscured, re-transferred, copied and painted.
Rudimentary building materials are the blocks of which Jason Bailer Losh creates his sculpture. Each piece contains within it a pattern that can be found in the use of materials, and the application of techniques used in the production of the works. There is repetition in palette, pattern, shape, and the duplication of effect through horizontal and vertical planes. The materials are being turned back onto themselves to represent a lack of continuity; that upon closer examination runs as a thread throughout the work, creating parallels in composition. The objects become stand-ins for the figure: the head on the pedestal, and the upright or reclining figure.
Three TVs sit facing each other in Michael John Kelly’s installation. The digital image projected on each screen is a direct representation of what is actually currently placed inside of each monitor; thus the TV projection is playing its insides. In his adjacent painting, Kelly uses a vocabulary taken from technology, and ideas of spirituality in painting. In Mormon faith, marriage is understood as an eternal vow and each bride and groom face each other with mirrors at their backs. Here the artist struggles to find an alternative eternity in the work, while recalling a faith whose personal relevance is in flux.
The graphite on paper drawings by Keaton Macon have an abstract lush yet alien quality that belie their actual function of representation. All three drawings are studies of the palm at different vantage points or proximities of viewing. Accompanying the drawings are two looped recordings. The first is a chant recorded by the artist through apartment walls; the chanter is unknown and his recursive mantra is obstructed by space and other white noise. The second is the artist’s recollection of a real fire that burned actual palm trees, which is the source material for the drawings.
The video piece, “Edge of the Woods” by Julie Orser focuses on the main character of a young girl- a popular archetype in fairy tales. The narrative follows the girl through a forest; her subjective experience is echoed in the character of a dog. At times the two interact, at other moments they seem to become a mirror image of each other- shifting roles and sharing consciousness. The tale explores a familiar landscape of innocence, desire and loss.
Expanding on themes bringing elements of architecture and citing them indoors, Damaris Rivera creates a planter made of treated wood, succulents and stones after a famous Cartier timepiece design. Labyrinths feature themselves within the structure, and the overall piece can be duplicated and the form continued, to suggest a chain or link, possibly in a necklace or bracelet.
Rachelle Rojany’s bronze “Crowd of girl” forms a cluster of girls all taken from the same mold, but copied and altered slightly, evoking a subtle change of emotion ranging from anger, fright, to uneasiness. She is at once different versions of the same girl, unable to find comfort in her crowd. Each girl feels surrounded, squeezed and alone.
The wall works by Samantha Roth are each understood in relationship to their titles. In “Forgot It”, Roth duplicates mock-ups from sketch books gathered over a period of time on the gessoed side of loose canvas. Each sketch represents a study in the possibility of a fold. Grouped together they become an indexical drawing that is obscured by the actual fold of the canvas, mimicking the very concept of the drawings. When installed, only a glimpse of the graphite is perceived by the viewer. In her pair titled “Who Wore It Better” a studio painting scrap is elevated to proper painting and hung on a wall. Envisioning the wall piece come to life in three dimension, Roth creates a sister piece made of plaster and yarn, which sits anxiously on the floor.
Cody Trepte’s drawings state the same phrase in various iterations: in the italicizing of word, in a word’s absence, in the possibility of a word being filled in. The meanings shift and change with each slight alteration; and yet the totality of the turn of phrase suggests a meaning that can capture everything.