The work in “Low Subject” interrupts standard assumptions and definitions of sculpture and photography. Through elaborate and multi-faceted process, each artist calls to question that which is seen and that which is known. Using photography as a main component, the artists visit and revisit objects and images, manipulating them, cutting them and repositioning them until the originals are transformed into new iterations. The iteration becomes a documentation of the changes that take place between originals and the outcome. The final pieces are collages and configurations of process, landing in a space pushing the boundaries of three-dimensionality. Kate Bonner’s new work is a strong example of that push, disrupting the limitations of two-dimensional images.
The “subjects” for Bonner’s constructions are given a new life up for consideration. Flat paper once held and then folded, is now documented as a frozen gesture, accompanied by images of architecture that lend to an imaginary location of where the activities of folding may have taken place. Using the folded paper images as guides, Bonner scores the edges of the substrate, transforming it to angles and creating structure and space that reanimates the original paper. What was once flat is made dimensional, which is then flattened and yet again reformed, mapping the movements of process and creating a temporal collision. David Bayus’ work also disrupts time, with even more diverse dimensionality.
Bayus makes sculpture from fluid, gelatinous material, which he molds, compresses, shapes and forms. The sculptures are brightly lit and have a luminous sheen, highlighting every detail, from fingerprints to shoe prints – each fold and crease clearly visible. These sumptuous sculptures become a base for stacking and placing a variety of detailed paintings and abstract shapes. The configuration is then photographed for the final piece. The result is a flattening that tricks the eye, creating a wondrous illusion, as if peering at a surreal diorama. The works have a gravitational pull, with a candy-like appeal ready to be snatched from their imaginary display case and kept for future psychedelic dream conjuring. In contrast, Nico Krijno’s dioramas become subjects for formal inquiry.
The vignettes that he creates blur the lines between kitsch and classical. Inexpensive, everyday objects are made strange by arranging them in complex tableau, with obvious care and consideration taken to make them ready to be photographed. The objects in the assemblages are juxtaposed with fabrics in tacky and overly decorative floral or animalesque patterns in bright and contracting colors. The scenes are reminiscent of a Miami patio, a Savannah parlor or a Vegas show – all in bourgeois grandeur. The act of photographing the sculpture renders them as portraiture, each personality and story different from the next. In all, the three artists make their process evident in the work – there is no mystery here – as the press text states, there is transparency.
However, viewing the work here online in this review are photographic renditions which are an additional removal from the originals, losing the dimensionality that the eye is capable of seeing when facing the actual work.
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-Contributed by Leora Lutz