Friday, September 06, 2013

SIDE/AFFECT? at Liliana Bloch Gallery

Waddy Armstrong  - Bird Bunny repost of my article

The Public Trust gallery is on vacation, so Liliana Bloch spread her wings this summer and has taken over the whole space for her group show titled "SIDE/AFFECT?." Bloch has a great deal of experience mixing up with artists through her other adventures at the MAC and Kirk Hopper. The theme of the exhibition explores government entities and industrial technological partnering to shape our diets, which in turn shapes our environment. A few of the artists have very interesting takes on the topic.

Like, Mayra Barraza’s perfect oil painting of a rabbit on white velvet illustrates this theme in a few science genetics. The painting is titled 6, which implies a scientific subject which is usually given an impersonal designation, rather than a name. Due to the reference of Mendel, is Barraza implying this is a cloned rabbit or maybe selectively bred rabbit? Either way, some kind of human manipulation has occurred. Although somewhat far afield, I am reminded that rabbits are also common lab test subjects for product testings. Some cosmetic companies have used rabbits as test subjects. Maybe this idea motivated Kathy Lovas to bring in her plastic warped, sale tagged bunnies. Waddy Armstrong also thought of the rabbit as subject, but his Bird Bunny photopolymer plate looks like something of a Charles Darwin discovery. Armstrong should think about becoming a member of the Association for Creative Zoology, based out of Tennessee.

Tim Best’s approach uses the lens of products being sold with overt sexuality. This particular archival ink-jet print titled No dream is ever just a dream, is a nice bridge from his previous photography which used candy and excess as themes. The woman with the ice cream is being suggestive and active, while the superimposed closeup of the blindfolded woman suggests a passive ecstasy. Though most commercials don’t push the envelope like Best’s work, food is still being sold to us through the enticement of sex.

Sandow Birk’s drawing of pure excess as daily life was stunning in detail. Where as Best explored the message of the ads, Birk showed a tragic reality of highly processed food and sedentary lifestyle. Maybe the man in the drawing will die in the next moment of a heart attack or in a few years, but that train is going to break down.

Laray Polk’s investigative style is both journalistic and post-modern in aesthetics. I am reminded of the drawings by Mark Lombardi and how information seems to connect and effect other events. The show also included Ryan Sarah Murphy, Mona Kasra’s video, and Du Chau’s sculpture of pills and flowers. Liliana Bloch Gallery will take up the summer month of August and be taken down on September 9th. I hope next year she will stick with her idea of exclusion or a “shoe on the other foot” kind of show, but you will have to ask her about that. for more images

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