Rainbows, Plants and Four-Leaf Clovers

knockonwood_670

Please join Marie Louise Omme for the opening of her ICP-Bard MFA these exhibition, Knock on Wood

Opening reception  Thursday, April 9th, 7-10pm
(drinks and food will be provided)

On view  April 9 – 12, 2015 | 12-7 PM | Friday through Sunday or by appointment

Contact Info  917-783-7872 | marielouiseomme@gmail.com

ICP-Bard MFA Studios
24-20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Floor
Long Island City, Queens

Related and Alienated

The idea of experimenting with the photographic process, from the lens to the print, that ‘The Actual’ group exhibit explores at Eleven Rivington Gallery, has made me think about how contemporary practice reflects a sterile idea of beauty.

Marsha Cotrell

“Interior 1”, 2014. Marsha Cotrell. Laser toner in paper unique, 8 3/4 x 7 7/8 inches (22.2×20 cm). Eleven Rivington Gallery

Marsha Cotrell’s works, for instance, are made of layers of laser toner ink. She uses an additive process, and creates an appearance of architectural depth in her geometric abstractions. Those layers of time and light have drawn me to Moholy Nagy (1895-1946), with his fascination with Constructivist/Suprematist color theory and his decision to experiment with Light as a new “medium of plastic expression”. This movement of experimentation arose in an avant –garde context out of a desire to rebel against the bourgeois.

Moholy Nagy

“VIII.Neon Signs, Chicago, 1939”. Moholy Nagy. Color Photograph. “Moholy – Nagy, Documentary Monographs in Modern Art”. Edited by Richard Kostelanetz, 1970.

The Dadaist movement was born in 1916, right after World War I. In words of the Director of MoMA, Alfred H. Barr Jr. ( 1902-1981) “They rejected everything, including modern art, and accepted anything”*. Surrealism was the direct descendent of Dada’s interest in the antirational. It had a deep understanding of the subconscious, and used the analysis of dreams, visions, automatic writing and psychoanalytic drawings as tools.

Even though I feel deeply attracted to the process and so interested in the use of the medium in a new form, as I am experimenting within my practice, I also feel there is a wall between this kind of practice and the content behind it. It is difficult to discern what is happening at this chaotic moment dominated by technology. Some contemporary artists are pointed our gaze to what is experienced inside. “The Actual” presents an abstract image of artifice and process in such a repetitive way, that it doesn’t allow me to connect with any context or reference apart from the medium itself.

In 1942 MoMA opened the exhibition “How to make a Photogram” by Moholy Nagy in collaboration with students. The exhibition was divided into different areas and explained the process of the photograms: conventional photographs of objects as immediate reality, physical objects susceptible to play with their plasticity and light, demonstrations of the effect of natural light in sensitive paper and different supports, and photograms of Moholy Nagy and Man Ray. The process prompted the viewer to be more aware of their daily vision, to seek dormant skills.

Moholy Nagy selfportrait

“Self Portrait”, 1924. Moholy-Nagy. Photogram with torn paper. Collection George Eastman House, Rochester NY.

“The Actual” features work of five other artists as Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, John Houk, Jason Kalogiros, and Miranda Lichtenstein. Their work is presented in the two spaces, separating the artists’ series, and all the images are framed and presented in a classical exhibition format. I would have preferred to experience something more physical, some element that would emphasize a point of contact with the viewer.

John Houk

“Untitled #322_02, 2 colors, #BCA09E, #EB4235”, 2014. John Houk. 2 Creased archival pigment prints. 15 x 10 inches. Eleven Rivington Gallery

I didn’t feel like that when I saw Assaf Shaham’s work at Yossi Gallery. “Division of the Vision” is an exhibition of sculpture, video and photo-based work by Israeli artist Assaf Shaham. His other work gave me the context and the political backdrop for his scanograms, how he questions the limitations of representation and uses studies to document his work.

Assaf Shaham2

“Writer”, 2012. Assaf Shaham. Yossi Milo Gallery

large-assaf_shaham-2-fr-90_deg_blue_and_brown-2014

“FR (90 DEG blue and brown)”, 2014. Assam Shaham. From the series Full Reflection Archival Inkjet Print 42 1/2″ × 30 11/16″ (108 x 78 cm). Yossi Milo Gallery

Being in an age where digital technologies are also changing the ways we communicate makes me wonder if the way that “The Actual” turns our focus to spatial perception is not accentuating the virtuality and disembodied zeitgeist of this moment. When I first saw Hilary Berseth in the next room of the gallery, I felt excited and relieved. The movement of the images, the dimensionality, even the expression of the faces didn’t seem to me exaggerated, they were like a breath of fresh air.

*The Museum of Modern Art. Release 113036-38 of the exhibition “Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism”, 1937.

Materiality of Language


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Sam Lewitt’s show titled Total Immersion Environment is a series of photographs titled Paper Citizen. These are images  of letter press casts arranged, as if, for printing as a page of a book. It was only instinctive to try and read the words which are arranged laterally inverted, from right to left. I stutter, look at the shapes of the letters, read each alphabet carefully, look at the space between two alphabets and construct a word slowly. It brings attention to how words are formed, the place of punctuation and how a space between two words is significant in giving meaning to the sentence. The materiality of Language construction relates to the materiality of letter press casts, the metallic texture, the frame and the construction of a page in reverse before its transferred on to paper.

A very interesting show to see if you haven’t gone already.  Its all about the material world!

I Always Never_______

Always

I Always #30: Hernease Davis, Blue Moon 1, 2009, © Hernease Davis

  1. I always think
  2. I always stress out about planned shoots
  3. I always question my intentions
  4. I always look through the view finder of my SLR
  5. I always imagine the scenes in my head
  6. I always stray away from my original plan
  7. I always shoot in RAW when shooting digital
  8. I always aim to focus in on the subject
  9. I always try to contain the image in the frame
  10. I always think of a vertical perspective as an alternate
  11. I always jot down random ideas
  12. I always have a feeling of lost creativity after shooting from a list
  13. I always carry a camera
  14. I always worry that I won’t be able to capture what I envision
  15. I always feel as if I shoot too much if I take a photo from the same angle
  16. I always consider lighting.
  17. I always imagine people in my images
  18. I always think of how to build on an idea, how to make more images along a theme
  19. I always consider my dreams in relation to what I want to photograph
  20. I always consider what these people will be wearing
  21. I always scout out a location before hand
  22. I always wait until I am in a good mood before I shoot
  23. I always put the lens caps back on
  24. I always use music to calm me down and help my mind wander
  25. I always write out my frustration in my process
  26. I always think, “Is this weird?”
  27. I always want to produce a photograph that makes me feel accomplished.
  28. I always shoot with my glasses on
  29. I always expect the worst
  30. I always wait until I am compelled to shoot
  31. I always hope I am not making work that looks exactly the same as someone else’s.
  32. I always want something in focus
  33. I always question my choice of perspective
  34. I always get anxious about asking my friends to pose for me
  35. I always am afraid of seeming out of control when photographing my friends
  36. I always want to be shooting film
  37. I always burn a disc of my work
  38. I always hold my breath when the shutter speed is 1/30 or less
  39. I always like experimenting
  40. I always think of images when listening to my favorite songs
  41. I always look for an unconventional perspective
  42. I always under or over expose
  43. I always spend a long time thinking on a written idea
  44. I always am afraid others will not completely understand my work
  45. I always have a notebook with me
  46. I always shoot with my feet spread apart
  47. I always shoot in color and convert to b&w later
  48. I always think in still images first
  49. I always find it hard to explain my ideas to those posing for me
  50. I always say “okay” when I feel done with a shoot.

Never

  1. I never think about future text placement in my photographs
  2. I never shoot with my contacts on.
  3. I never take portraits of strangers
  4. I never print bigger than 16×20
  5. I never use animals
  6. I never look at family albums
  7. I never go over my journals or poetry
  8. I never share my inspirations with my parents
  9. I never ask my family for critique
  10. I never develop my fancy film at convenience stores
  11. I never shoot with an assistant
  12. I never develop my film or upload my files immediately
  13. I never build props
  14. I never buy costumes or wardrobes
  15. I never work with make-up artists
  16. I never do long exposures of stars
  17. I never plan to do shoots in crowded areas
  18. I never photograph nude portraits
  19. I never hang my own prints in my bedroom
  20. I never think about stock photography when I shoot
  21. I never take serious portraits of my father
  22. I never shoot when I am angry
  23. I never enjoy using tripods
  24. I never stick to my shot list
  25. I never make collages
  26. I never draw or write on my prints
  27. I never throw away color test prints
    I never #28: Hernease Davis, Froid, 2010 © Hernease Davis
  28. I never use friends as models when it is really cold outside

    I never #29: Hernease Davis, The Walt Disney Music Hall from the Stop Light at Grand & 1st, ©2010 Hernease Davis

    I never #29: Hernease Davis, Below Grand , ©2010 Hernease Davis

  29. I never photograph the Disney Music Hall in Los Angeles
  30. I never enjoy lugging strobes around
  31. I never rush
  32. I never shoot in dangerous places, like cliffs or alleys at night
  33. I never am satisfied when the photograph I shoot does not match what I imagined
  34. I never leave the house without my iPod (The files on my iPod are my companion, especially on the subway/bus when I happen to sit next to a stranger who likes to eat with an open mouth.  I carry around my favorite music, NPR, audio Yoga – they help me think of images, stay informed, stay calm, and make the 10-minute walk home from the subway less annoying.  Those files don’t make me a better person, and when I left the house without them, I survived.)
  35. I never go more than a month without doing some form of exercise
  36. I never used pages I used to tear from magazines for inspiration
  37. I never photograph my tennis racquet
  38. I never photograph my room at night
  39. I never am comfortable photographing myself, by myself
  40. I never think to use myself first
  41. I never photograph my Aunts

    I never #42: Hernease Davis, Thoreau Walk, ©2009 Hernease Davis

    I never #42: Hernease Davis, Thoreau Volvo, ©2009 Hernease Davis

    I never #42: Hernease Davis, Thoreau Tree, ©2009 Hernease Davis

    I never #42: Hernease Davis, Thoreau Street, ©2009 Hernease Davis

  42. I never photograph my block
  43. I never shoot long exposures of traffic
  44. I never photograph the floor of my room
  45. I never think about abstraction first
  46. I never remember to hide certain things
  47. I never am comfortable with ambiguity
  48. I never make holograms
  49. I never fully flesh out my intentions

    I Never #50: Hernease Davis, Apt Mirrors, 2009, © Hernease Davis

  50. I never consider my point & shoot to be my  “good” or “nice” or “real” camera