Haptic –as a direct translation- refers to any one country or region’s customary greeting (think, handshake or double cheek peck). When a secondary word follows, for instance-“haptic perception” (the act of identifying objects through touch/ grouping in the dark) or “haptic technology” (computerized interfaces guided through touch/ iPhone)- it is clear what each additional word within these phrases is motived by. “Haptic Translations,” a group show organized by Christine Messino, on view through August 23rd at OHWOW Los Angeles, is a clever reference to each artist’s interpretation of the visceral or theoretical, invisible or unable to corral. Hands and touch create that which formerly was too massive to par down, or invisible without a concrete creation. Through sculpture, painting, photography even video, each discipline conveys a tangible expression to that which was formerly, a feeling, thought or oasis of benevolent void.
Letha Wilson’s fiery red, Earthly Mars canyons fill the frames of her work. Lingering just above the surface of each vision is a cloudy emulsion of concrete. “Utah Maine Concrete Slab, 2013” welcomes the visitor. Here, this work sits propped to the gallery wall. From a distance a cross section of the worlds topsoil, crust and bedrock below is encapsulated. Upon further inspection a crumpled c-print intermingles with the stoic permanence of the concrete. Perhaps this is a Meta manifestation of the inner workings of Wilson’s photographic subjects? In “Flaming Gorge Cement Dip (Facedown Fold), 2013,” an accordion finish produces an optical allusion effect, atop which that characteristic film of Portland cement gathers. “Badlands Cement Dip (Facedown Two Circles), 2013,” too, is concentric apparitions whose color pallet is slightly muted amidst the dusty haze. Sitting amongst this is Elaine Cameron-Weir’s metallurgic rods extending skyward by way of jagged marble in “Naturally occurring radio waves are made by lightning, or by astronomical objects, 2013.” Each, respectively, bringing a human palpability to un-containable occurrences in nature.
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-Contributed by Bianca Guillen