Curated by Suzanne Kim
Ian Burns, Angie Drakopoulos, Eva Lee, Marci MacGuffie, Sam Martineau, Caitlin Masley, David McQueen
December 4th – January 16th, 2005
By abstracting truths from various disciplines of research such as engineering, quantum mechanics, architecture, and metaphysics these seven artists demonstrate the diverse ways a work of art can illuminate the dynamics of life. Synthesizing numerous materials and mediums to bring their ideas to fruition, they embody the modern arrangements of nature and technology. Their personal vocabularies are brought into a larger scope as they create visual bridges for the interstices of the material and immaterial world.
Eva Lee explores the linear progression of Darwinian evolution through a series of digitally generated animations. Simple elements like dots and dashes create patterns and become more complicated as first generation data files are crossbred to create hybrid files. The graphic program is pushed beyond its capabilities and in that process mutations occur. Presented as large-scale projections, the perception of scale in The Liminal Series can be interpreted simultaneously as vast and minute. These digital generations create an unfolding display of transformation. Already apparent in this series of the ongoing project is the dramatic results that will conclude the process of evolution.
As a snowfall descends upon a landscape of miniature tree stumps, a miniature house covertly records this man-made climate in David McQueen's elaborate installation,Untitled Snowfall: twice as big half as small. A live feed of the artificial landscape is projected in an adjacent room and creates another layer of dislocation as it presents an image of nature twice removed. Untitled Desert (particularly deserted) continues the question of the relationship between technology and nature as it presents a landscape of cacti that is artificially kept in a near constant state of darkness, denying the natural process of growth. These cold and slightly sinister constructions paradoxically create delicate and ephemeral moments, a contradiction that echoes the inherent duality of the universe.
With a labor-intensive process of painting delicate lines between numerous layers of resin,Angie Drakopoulos creates scientifically hypothetical structures of the universe. She derives her imagery from her research in biology, chemistry and other various fields of science. A comprehensive diagram of the micro and macro cosmic world emerges as she works towards defining the invisible energy that governs all matter. Based on the structure of a standard 52-card deck, Synthesis is a methodical visual system that conceptualizes a new unified theory. In the animation Mythograph, that system is activated and reveals the operating relationships between the distilled forms.
Ian Burns investigates the act of observation and the cultural impact of the glowing screen. By exposing the carefully crafted lo-tech mechanics that create the images within his sculptures, his scenes do not seduce the eye; they instead activate a sense of curiosity and question the mind's experience of illusion. Lighting, camera angles and other methods of narration lifted from divergent genres such as film noir and news broadcasting simulate the modern day viewer experience. Reflective of the fragmented ways contemporary society receives information, framed out viewing screens become points of entry to undisclosed plots. The central conflict between the construction and the deconstruction of the images allude to the unpresentable.
An architectural form is placed within the rules of nature as Caitlin Masley conceptualizes how the modernist urbanscape could function as a self-contained growing organism. As she re-examines the grid in postwar urban landscapes, appropriated facades of monumental buildings are abstracted into patterns, multiplying and rearranging like microorganisms. In this series of digital c-prints, the geometrical space of the Miyakonojo Civic Center is restructured and points to the organic possibilities that exist within the grid.
The traditional space between painting and viewer is deconstructed as Marci MacGuffiereinvestigates the romantic idea of the artist's hand. In her wall installation Arousing Conviction, magnetic strips, made to resemble painterly brush marks, are arranged on the gallery wall. The area has been coated with an iron infused paint, which creates the binding medium, ferromagnetic attraction. Drawing heavily from nature, the "brush marks" are placed in an abstract pattern and viewers are invited to transform this image. The constant mode of chance operation within this interaction is the underlying vehicle of the image's progression and ultimate state.
Sam Martineau continually surveys society and his own vocabulary as he experiments with different reference materials ranging from glossy magazine advertisements of high-end commodities to sentimental photos. His selection of imagery is an associative process. The paintings are made not as continuations or variations of a formula but as challenges to prior paintings. Within each individual painting, resolution is attained by a formal balance of polarities. He challenges the narratives created within "projects" as he constantly expands the vocabulary within his work by juxtaposing contrasting images and traditional modes of painting. He creates these conflicts as a question to the existence of absolute truth.