February 2018: ROY Spectrum I

In Blog By by Regina Zehner On March 21, 2018

During February, ROY exhibited four alumni artists as the start of a four part series titled ROY Spectrum. The show is tied to the engagement of light, or light based works. Video, installation and interactive works activate the space. Ranging from a variety of themes such as the investigation of pictorial space, blurred lines of fictions to reality and memory, the artists create a show that is both experiential and didactic.


Utilizing a wall in the South part of the building are three video pieces by Liz Roberts. The works reveal how fused patriarchal desires are within the projected fictions of movies while focusing on the complexity of women’s roles in these projected fictions and the sublime violence are held in both the fictitious/real world.




Liz Roberts, Who Killed Laura Van Wyhe (bottom) and I Want You to Know What Love Is (top) installation view



Starting with Who Killed Laura Van Wyhe and I Want You to Know What Love Is, a combination of audio and video that intersects and highlights the nature of patriarchal violence. The works exist as two screens hanging vertically above one another, while beneath the second screen that is closer to the floor sits a concrete block. On the top screen a scene from the film Taxi Driver plays. Attached to the screen is a headset that allows the viewer to hear a Dead Boys song that plays after the monologue from Martin Scorsese. Beneath Taxi Driver, is a second screen that provides a black and white photo of Laura Van Whye that slowly is emphasized and brought closer until her face encompasses the whole screen. Written within her artist statement, the videos use personal history and the mass product, the movie, to critically highlight the violence that haunts women, which in this case, is never directly shown.




Liz Roberts, Inner Space



Following is Inner Space, a projected video that is broken up by multiple printed out screenshot depicts of the same movie. The projected video is based from a short film titled, Crash! (1971), which revolves around the fetishization of cars and car accidents. Presented in the piece is a shot of a woman staring at the viewer and while at same time, there is a man who has been printed out multiple of times, stares in the same direction, too. Both the video and photos are taken from the same moments where the two characters are gazing indirectly into the screen. The viewer assumes the character is involved with the other in some way. The piece abstracts the storyline from the film’s original plot and uses the characters as archetypes to reveal the desire of the woman. From the woman’s perspective, she is aware the man is watching her, wanting her, but in her gaze, she is not afraid. Underneath the video, the multiple pictures of the man ensues a strengthen view of desire.



In the same room is Mark Reamy’s Ny-Quil Dream, a projected video that integrates the physical within the pictorial, documenting the relic of an instant moment, while at the same time, evoking a sense of depth through digital layering. Even set on a loop as it is, when one watches the video, there is a new spark happening in one part of the video, a new shift happens when you look away for one second. Ny-Quil Dream is constructed by multiple of slide dioramas and composite videos. The videos are then abstracted and dominated by vivid color that blends ideas of painting into a more visual, living afterlife.




Mark Reamy, still from Ny-Quil Dream



With this cross-bending-genre, the video investigates what is a image in today’s static, commercialized product and as well, expands on how images can exist in duality of life. One cannot be helped but to be hypnotized by its intensity.


Scott Goss’s The Best Place to Sit in India is in the Front Seat, on the North side of the building, is an interactive piece that allows the viewer to experience the artist’s adventure in a car ride through India. The piece has a built in headset that can be worn when the viewer uses the lever to pull the headset over their head. Inside the headset, there are multiple screens, each playing different clips of the road trip with sound that echoes the memory.


The audience is inserted in the artist’s experience. This allows viewers to engage with a culture or environment they are usually introduced to. The installation allows for others to incite curiosity of another place that wouldn’t have been able to be down without this specific piece. This piece is an example of how we might be able to share experiences in the future and the idea that archiving can be used for other purposes besides one’s personal record.



Scott Goss, The Best Place to Sit in India is in the Front Seat installation view



Nate Ricciuto’s Rise Over Run Again, is an installation that resides on the left of the North side. The installation utilizes mirrors and light to abstract environment . The installation is set up like a basement workshop; using the stairs as the main focal point that creates the environment. On the front of the stairs are mirrors that reflect the audience and the city outside. Underneath the stairs on the other side are cut out pictures of pictures of cell phone towers. Underneath the steps, sits a construction of cubbies that holds two milk jugs: one painted black then the other is transparent. There is a yellow light attached to the left of the installation, making the transparent milk appear yellow.




Nate Ricciuto, Rise Over Run Again installation view



The installation engages with attachments to specific spaces as well as abstracting those spaces to allow room for the viewer’s own personal ideas to become parts of the physical objects too. Systems of logic are obscured: photos of the radio towers disguised as palm trees and the milk jugs are both abstracted – pulled from their logical purpose or assumptions to create an experimental environment that lays between one that is familiar and one of innovation.


The works end up coming together in a way that is dynamic in the sense of interactivity and thought. From projected video works involving complicated processes that cause people to slow down and watch the video, to screens that use music to also help build their environment. Others use the audience’s own physical energies to transport them into a new place. Light either reflects, energizes or bounces off objects like it does in Ricciutos’, but even with the variety of ways it has been used in the pieces – light still draws the theme and work together.