Library Street Collective is excited to welcome Jason Revok back to Detroit with his latest solo exhibition, titled depersonalization-derealization. Rooted in introspection, the artist navigates his motivations and impulses to paint, while recognizing an obligation to link creativity and well-being.
Revok has been exploring the capabilities and limitations of his custom tools for the last 5 years, and in using them to create studio work, public projects and unauthorized walls, he has created a new language. It may seem like a natural evolution in studio practice, but the artist sees these new processes as transformative for him at a pivotal time in his life, “I think the work I have been making is likely a conscious effort to seek purpose in living or some type of action to practice being mindful and not emotionally and spirituality bankrupt. The visual language in all of the work is my effort to deal with big existential fears and hopes in the simplest and most immediate language I can come up with.” For Revok, the relentless onslaught of horrific news and media overstimulation is central to his depersonalization, where he feels deeply the collective emotional numbness of contemporary life and the powerlessness to affect change.
Identifying further with crucial aspects of DD in his work, Revok often finds himself an onlooker into his art and practice, which may very well be the result of the use of tools whose mechanisms and glitches are so crucial in his production. He performs with intention, but never quite knows what the end result will be. This distance between the artist and his output promotes criticality and introspection and can cause disconnection, in particular when the routine is repeated day after day in the studio. While early works and exhibitions that focused on Revok’s Instrument Exercises, Tape Loop Paintings, and Spirographs have considered the artist’s early reaction to these tools - the mechanics, aesthetics and process - depersonalization-derealization digs deep to consider the mental, emotional and existential impact of a practice that borders on automation in a climate of severe political disruption.