Illuminations: Varese Layzer, RKDB, Julia Shirar

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March, from the series Making Room
Illuminations: Varese Layzer, RKDB, Julia Shirar
Curated by: Jasmine Moorhead

480 23rd Street - side entrance
Oakland, CA 94612
March 30th, 2012 - April 28th, 2012
Opening: March 30th, 2012 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

East Bay
Fri-Sat 1-5; First Friday 5-9 & always by appointment
photography, installation, video-art, conceptual, modern, sculpture


Once we put our calculations aside, the inevitable descent of the sky and visiting memories and the séance of rhythms occupy the home, the head and the world of the mind.” —Arthur Rimbaud

Krowswork is very pleased to announce Illuminations, a three-person exhibition featuring photographs by Varese Layzer, video and installation by RKDB, and video by Julia Shirar.

opening reception for the artists March 30th, 6-9 pm
on view March 31-April 28, 2012

For Layzer, it is a Manhattan apartment and its Upper West Side environs. In the case of RKDB it is a dilapidated Ohio Victorian. And with Shirar it is a South Texas town. The places are different, but the works presented by these three artists are connected by a very specific undertaking. They are each attempting a poetic assessment of a space/place of home for which they each must take on a responsibility following the passing of a family member.

The exhibition is titled after a 19th-century collection of poetry by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891), Illuminations. Inherent in these poems is the integration of light as literal imagery and a symbolic goal; the same is true in these visual works where light is an important formal and philosophical component of the works. In Layzer's photographs, the light streams in from building-blocked passages and as well as from oddly arranged fixtures, expressing the conflict between the world outside and that lived within. RKDB's installation moves the viewer from an ornate flickering hallway light to the gracious sun streaming through redwoods. Shirar focuses on a the pulsing tv at a dark motel, evoking a language of both comfort and loneliness. Each of the artists is illuminating a figurative and literal dark corner, one with refreshingly candid implications.

Although approaching a difficult and personal topic, Layzer, RKDB, and Shirar eschew simple nostalgia and explore with formal vigor the energy of these respective spaces and their particular residue of memory. These artists use their art to validate the inherent complexities of a life and the place in which it was lived. And vice versa: the artists each deftly use the personal and emotional static and ambiguity that inevitably accompanies this remembering and assessing in order to create artworks that are universal memorials worthy of living itself. The work succeeds by a sophisticated metaphysics of distance and removed understanding whose result is visual poetry.

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