07.27.13

Dwelling in Erasure, curated by Alexandra Wetzel, Charlie James Gallery, July 27 – September 5, 2013

We may be the most restless people to date. We move around a lot. We see things remotely, we see things at speed, we find it hard to dwell on things. We exist in a constant state of arrival, neither fully here nor fully there. We click through endless images, constantly communicate through shifting platforms. Our jumbled experiences arrive out of order and in no particular order. Chronology removed, we are left in the perpetual now.

What happens then, when through artistic device, the context and point of origin are lost? By striping down, visually parsing the information presented, the viewer is left to identify with reduced space, dwelling in the experience without necessarily contextualizing it. This loss of context allows the viewer to reach a dream-like, tranquil state with shapes and objects that are familiar and whose potential readings are now doubled and tripled through redaction. To the dreamer, a dream is like reality and the anchor is not so much lost as it is displaced. Dwelling in Erasure brings together five artists working across all media who employ acts of removal and dislocation to suspend the viewer, creating quieter, contemplative moments allowing for reflection and simply being. 

Michael Henry Hayden’s and Chris Succo’s works appear like a blurred memory, faded or manipulated. Hayden’s use of ubiquitous domestic architecture allows the viewer to dwell in the memories of recorded non-moments. For Succo, it is not what to paint, but how to paint. While there is a layering to remove it is not random. The poetic decision of each gesture and composition is foregrounded. The process becomes the anchor.

Similarly, Christopher Richmond removes the narrative, the story—the very thing being told—to focus instead on the telling, the discourse. The viewer is left in a non-place, the loop seamless, the experience without orientation. Matthew Brandt’s and Bobbi Wood’s works literally paint over and wash away parts of the image until very little is left for the viewer to “hold on to.” This loss of context forces the viewer to hold tightly to what is left and from there to find a way out, to make out meaning.

*With special thanks to Tellef Tellefson, Dwyer Kilcollin and Randall Wetzel. 

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