EUQINOM Gallery is pleased to present Present Objects: an annual introductions exhibition, a group exhibition that brings together contemporary artists exploring the use of paper-based work in diverse ways. This is the inaugural presentation of what will become an annual exhibition of new artists’ work. Co-curated with Emily Lambert-Clements and Monique Deschaines, the exhibition includes works from artists Clare Strand, Lebohang Kganye, Liza Ambrossio, Rachel Phillips and Julia Goodman. Present Objects will be on view from July 13 - August 24, 2019 with an opening reception on July 13th from 6-8pm.
On view is a set of nine polaroid photographs from the archive of British artist Clare Strand. The piece, Original Type 55 Polaroid from the Betterment Room: Devices For Measuring Achievement, is a study examining the visual identity and behaviour of the post industrial worker, taking as a starting point the photographic time and motion studies of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. In this new study, the blithe, the willing and the compliant are equipped with appropriate mechanism and attachments, set against grids and clocks to help the study of their productive capacity. The images have an uneasy stasis, signaling that the modern activities we now call work have become more mysterious and less quantifiable. The Cyclegraph series becomes an attempt to analyse and determine the trajectories of Strand’s own activity throughout the making of the work (she straps lights to her hands while taking pictures), in an effort to make the intangible, tangible - an exercise in absurdism that nevertheless has its predetermined function - no matter how pointless.
The six photographs from South African artist Lebohang Kganye’s series Tell Tale (2018) are made using miniature theatre sets with silhouette cutouts of characters and settings in a diorama that is then photographed. The stories and characters explored by the artist come from a trip she took to the town of Nieu Bethesda in the Karoo, Eastern Cape of South Africa. Speaking with villagers, Kganye weaves their oral stories, both fiction and fantasy, into retellings as physical objects. Notable local figures play a prominent role in the local history and in Kganye’s reinterpretations. Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard, a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director, is best known for his political plays and movies opposing the system of apartheid. Kganye uses his writing as a thread throughout the project. Tell Tale confronts the conflicting stories, which are told in multiple ways, even by the same person. The work does not attest to being a documentation of a people but presents their personal narratives, often a mixture of memory and myth.
Mexican artist Liza Ambrossio creates a universe of symbols alluding to witchcraft, mixing written narrative, photographs and installations. The photographs exhibited explore psychological manipulations and the influence on the continuation and/or rupture of the power professed by social structures. There is a sinister freedom, a relationship with chance and instinct that address gender, sexuality, rudeness, subtlety, and passion. Her approach is an aesthetic between the strange and everyday, where passion is an act of defiance.
Bay-Area based Julia Goodman creates low relief sculptural paper pieces from pulped, repurposed fabrics, either discarded or given to her by friends, family and community. Her work builds on the history of rag paper, intermingling different colored fibers to create vibrating fields of color as a metaphor to explore human interconnectedness. The new work included in this exhibition dives deeper into the painterly and sculptural potential of handmade paper with a series of intertwined, entangled and expanding abstract forms. Goodman works with pulped fabrics without the addition of any pigments or dyes. Inside her studio she creates intricate, colorful compositions; while outside she presses pulp from these humble and intimate materials against public exterior surfaces, like brick walls and concrete. These sculptural forms absorb and lift small fragments from the more permanent surfaces, giving the final pieces a range of textures and patterns pulled from the architecture.
Bay-Area artist Rachel Phillips is Intrepid Girl Photographer, a fictional heroine of an imaginary series of eponymous paperbacks penned by an invented author that Phillips named Tabatha Misty. The series riffs on pulp and detective fiction, as well as the vocabulary and tropes of photography, to create an alternative feminist footnote to the history of a medium in which women photographers are too often only notable exceptions to the rule. Each book in the series is a vintage paperback mystery novel by Agatha Christie to which Phillips adheres newly made, yet carefully distressed, front and back covers. The covers are crafted from an extensively researched collection of design elements combined with original photographs and vintage illustrations. The covers play with the history of photography, utilizing traditional presentations and methods of the medium dating back to the 19th century, poking fun, creating puns and engaging contemporary audiences with her fictional heroine series, Intrepid Girl Photographer.