February 2018: ROY Spectrum I

2:26 pm, March 21, 2018 in Blog by Regina Zehner

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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

November 2017: Erek Nass

1:44 pm, in Blog by Regina Zehner

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Erek Nass, Descent installation view

 

 

Descent, by Erek Nass is an installation of light and protracted sound that activates space, process and the experience. The installation projects video footage onto water vapor that is contained the clear walls of a doorframe-like wooden structure that sits in the front of the gallery. The frame is accompanied by soundscape created by the artist that uses a recording of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” played underwater and slowed.

 

Descent distorts images through the use of the space. Video is projected through water vapor, which abstracts the images and gives them an amount of dimensionality. The video itself consists of footage recorded underwater, that begins and ends with the camera being placed in and pulled out of the water, respectively. The footage is mirrored and therefore abstracted. At times, certain clues give away the setting, towards the end, you might make out a tree-lined shore, and a people walking across sand. Mostly, the image is an undulating blue-white form, reminiscent of water but open to interpretation. The vapor’s haze gives density to an otherwise weightless object. As well, the installation provides sound that transforms the space to expansive environment where all senses are activated. An oceanic smell fills the gallery and the vapor contained within the frame swells and dissipates.

 

 

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Erek Nass, Descent installation view

 

 

Process is another base structure incorporated in the show that is integral to how the installation operates. The labor required in coordinating the small set outside, the vapor and the projection itself requires an intimate knowledge of the required time and materials. The idea of process is presented in by bodily concepts of  cycle and renewal. As one begins to sit and be with the work, the show enlightens an appreciation to a labor that is not necessarily on the work, but rather, in the work. It can be seen through the thoughtful way the installation was created and how the audience interacts with the piece. Nass’s careful curation and neutralization of the objects within the gallery allows them to be received under multiple pretenses, making a space that is not confined by one simple interpretation.

 

Descent infuses viewers with a feeling that grows on you after departing. The show is more than the ephemeral experience inside the gallery; it is the thought behind the structure, the minimal layout and in the show’s own objects. There are hints of personal influences and references that intersect with technology: through the video, through the artist’s intention and his exploration that manages to expand the viewer’s consideration into their own perception of invention.

November 2017: Kelsy Gossett

1:34 pm, in Blog by Haley Kedziora

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Kelsy Gossett, Relations installation view

 

 

Kelsey Gossett’s Relations is an installation that converses in experiences of the artist’s transitional times through her own romantic relationships and a critique on the representation of women within popular culture. Utilizing balloons and video, the show is a honest reflection of exploration of what it means to be in love and when love leaves you.

 

 

web Kesly Gossett, still from Without You

 

 

Without You is one of two video pieces in the show. The video depicts the idea of loss and dissatisfaction in a relationship. The piece is viewed through a television which sits in the middle of the gallery. In the video is hued in pink, purple effects with the artist in a bed, trying to sleep through the night. On the other side of the bed is a balloon, a stand in for a partner, and throughout the duration of the video, the artist interacts with the balloon, sometimes humping the balloon, or not touching it at all. The video explores the limbo moments within in a romantic relationship where everyone is unsatisfied and the difficult choices of separation, or struggling through the rough times. Without You does not shy away from artist’s actions and does not present the ideal happy, loving moments that is often viewed in popular culture; the video is real, raw.

 

 

 

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Kelsy Gossett, Relations installation view

 

 

On the left side of the gallery, in the window, are multiple balloons that cover the entirety of the glass. The balloons set the scene and the color palette of the show. The installation of the balloons leads to the piece on the wall, hanging left of the window, tilted I blew up this balloon a week after I moved out, 422 days ago, is a metaphor for one’s journey after the end of a relationship. The balloon is withered and discolored as it is contrasted against the white board. It is similarly set just like another piece that hangs on the other side of the gallery between the two video pieces. The piece is titled Mine & Yours (you never slept here) and it holds two pillow cases that is the same color of the balloon installation. The piece is a literal depiction tender sorrow of continuing onwards after all the pieces falls apart.

 

The last and largest piece in the show is a projection tilted Pink Paste. The video is of the artist and next to her is a woman; both are dressed in beige undergarments, looking directly into the audience. In the video, the artist and the woman try to brush each other’s teeth without looking at each other. Over time, their attempts fail and both desperately continue as toothpaste begins to fall everywhere. Pink Paste is a video where you can see the need to keep the relationship alive, but how despite all the efforts, nothing is working. The scene of the video is in a bathroom where most intimate acts occur other than the bedroom and reflects the idea of intimacy between women, which is not often seen in popular culture. Relationships within popular culture are almost always centered around heteronormative couples and even if there is a lesbian couple, they aren’t often shown with their actions to be so subtle, but also so expressive.

 

Kelsey Gossett’s Relations uses the personal to reflect on codependency and the hardships of romantic partnerships. The show presents a real depiction of women can relate to one another, gay relationships and how intimate, how real they are, which otherwise is not viewed in popular culture. It allows the show to be visceral, somber and complex all at the same time. Relations is the aftermath after the last goodbye, and the process of how the aftermath came to be. Nothing is simple, or sugar coated here, which is actually how relationships should be.  

October 2017: Kara Gut

4:16 pm, March 20, 2018 in Blog by Haley Kedziora

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Kara Gut, ESC installation view

 

 

ESC by Kara Gut is a multimedia exhibition that utilizes video, mixed media, photography and sculpture. The work incorporates the digital into the physical, conversing on how virtual spaces affect intimacy between people, the detachment of reality, the power dynamics within the virtual and the relationship of one’s identity online.

 

The work’s base structure is the relationship between hyper consumerism online and the audience’s physical interaction with the virtual. The sculpture, The Basic Bitch Bath, a television is propped up on multiple boxes of La Croix as it plays a video created by the artist. In the video, the artist is wearing plastic wrap as she performs a karaoke version of Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness over a green screen  projection of a tropical beach. The duration of the video the artist pours La Croix over her body as she sings, throwing off the expectation of the woman’s role and subverting the patriarchal consumption of a visible femme identifying body online. The expectations to perform, or act sexually for the male gaze can be acted through the pouring of La Croix down her body but then it’s disrupted by the barrier the plastic creates and the glitches that interrupt the video. As well through the performance, the artist is dancing in her own pleasure that further subverts male’s desire. The artist uses the relevance of Lana Del Rey to create a connection to the viewer and ‘popular’ subculture. The video is a mockery of the way a woman consumer can exist within virtual space. As well, the sculpture employs headphones, generating intimacy through the interaction of the audio and centers the viewer on a closer understanding of the video, which itself, is a detached object in the physical realm.

 

 

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Kara Gut, The Basic Bitch Bath installation view

 

 

The desires, or the expectations on the physical body is prominent in the work, but in addition the desires within one’s own escapism is present, too. On the left wall four photoshopped prints incorporate hidden symbols and metaphors that tie the themes of the advertisement and detachment from reality. To be noted, one of the prints, Escape 1 (La Croix Life), is tucked behind a nook in the wall and can only be viewed by that direction. In Escape 3 (The Feed), the print depicts the action of multiple hands taking pictures of the perfect, tropical beach in the background. On the phones’ screens, an image of a glitch replaces the selected image the hands are trying to focus on. The glitches displace the want of the consumer; deconstructing the tropical beach from the real and pivoting on the consumer to reflect their own wants of escaping reality to the virtual. Sitting in the corner is another work, Surface Tensions, that speaks about the issues of the object and escapism as well. A television sits in front of a security mirror that is tucked in the left corner of the gallery. A video of an Adobe stock image plays silently and one must look at the video through the reflection of the mirror to watch it comfortably. This prompts the viewer to digest the image on the mirror rather than acknowledge the television as an object next to them and literally, the concept of the consumer is reflected back to the viewer.

 

Reflecting Pools are the artist’s combination of sculpture and image. Printed on the three boards are images that are then painted overtop by a deep blue, blurring the information. The boards lean against the wall, aligned directly with each Escape piece on the opposing wall. The boards are metaphorical pools of water that ‘reflects’ how image, consuming, branding and the internet has changed art. It is the artist’s own interpretation on her show and her expression of her thought process.

 

 

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Kara Gut,  installation view

 

 

ESC houses video, photography and sculpture that allows the viewer to experience and reflect the work at the same time. Collectively the color pallets are cohesive which allows the show to slip into the conversation of branding and the cultures within those spheres that influence the desires of society and daily life. ESC is about the separation of reality and the virtual, revealing how closely they coexist.

 

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