Josh Azzarella (b. 1978, Ohio) creates videos and photographs that explore the power of context in the authorship of memory, oftentimes utilizing seminal moments in pop culture and news media to create accessible confrontations with historiography. By illuminating the individual encounter with communal experiences, Azzarella evaluates the perception of realness – which can ultimately be rooted in both the fantastic as much as the pragmatic. As the artist states of this new series of works:
“Time exists somewhere between memory and anticipation” – Carlo Rovelli
Ones first impulse is to think of time as a large expanse. However, time is also that slim moment between what has just happened and what we anticipate will happen next. In cinema, this moment materializes in the unimaged space between two frames of film – 1/24th of a second.
This body of work collects pieces of film that have been screened in cinemas throughout the world, and which portray moments of transition in the narrative. One image or understanding is leaving the frame, and another is about to appear; the black space in between is for a moment the liminal space between these realities. These fragments are scanned and enlarged (including their scratches, blemishes, and detritus gained from use) and reproduced at large scale.
Further, the mechanics of the projector and the lens system in the theater have been undone. When a film is viewed using a projector, the film is fed through the projector upside down and backwards and the mechanics of the lens corrects the image so it is oriented properly. Undoing the corrections creates images that are upside down and backwards, both of which complicate our understanding of images with which we may be familiar.
Azzarella was the recipient of the 2006 Emerging Artist Award and related solo exhibition from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (CT). He has previously shown at the California Museum of Photography (CA), University Art Museum, Long Beach (CA), Vancouver Art Gallery (Canada), Kavi Gupta Gallery (IL), Academie der Kunste (Berlin), Sean Kelly Gallery (NY), Catharine Clark Gallery (CA), Mississippi State University (MS), the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA) and DCKT Gallery (NY). His work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (CA), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PA), the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (TX), the San Diego Museum of Modern Art (CA), the Margulies Collection (FL), Western Bridge (WA) and JP Morgan Chase (NY). He lives and works in Easton, PA.
For additional information on this artist, go to: http://www.markmoorefineart.com/artists/josh-azzarella