Organized by Daniel Anhorn
Some questions to Ruskin’s concept of the pathetic fallacy surly follow the answers through the 19th and 20th centuries into the present 21st. Do we seek to conjure and “other”, as in the concept of prosopopoeia, or apostrophe in order to have someone present to listen to us? Does this anthropomorphism/ personification/ subjectification allow a certain colonization of the world with our subjective emotions? What happens when this runs amok or becomes commodified and proliferated through mass media? Do Disney characters allow subjectification of objects, landscapes, architecture? In today’s postmodern world, what if this mass subjectification of the “spirit” or animus, landscape, or objects is really an aspect of commodification that is reinterpreted as we receive and project the images of our emotion into hyperreality and media images.
The artists here exhibit a tendency to direct communication; hybridization of “hand” techniques and materials: drawing if one may observe. these media can be intimately tied to singular objects and subjective points of view, but are not necessarily tied to an idea of the “authentic” or real. Ruskin preferred his writers and painters to let and image be an image and an object be an object, so as not to “color” the world with and overwhelming emotion saying that “the greatest poets surmount the flux of consciousness; they do not present all reality, all human life, as it appears to them during the brief instant they experience an intense emotion [based upon The Aesthetic and Critical Theories of John Ruskin (1971). The works exhibited are presented as singular subjective responses, more in the realm of art than “mass” media, even as they reference images from different sources filled from within that media. The strategies of each artist are not beyond appropriation, as they try to recolonize images taken from traditional stories and are endlessly reflected back to us and reinterpreted.
Sandra Dillon’s drawings in pencil and gouache “reflect”; the Modernist buildings with their class surfaces mirror our inner selves, presented impenetrable facades and faltering architecture, as well as endless reflections between opposing surfaces in which we are lost in a forest of signs. Her multiplicitous slumping dishes of receivers point to our fascination with images from around the globe. Are they overloaded as well?
Jason Dunda’s intimately scaled gouaches depict hummocks and hills, or are they animals? Their lumpy green “fur” or grass suggest a relationship with landscape in the process of either growth or decay or burial mounds.
Scott water’s oil and acrylic warplanes on found floral scraps of wallpaper suggest a violence tied with domesticity, at the same time that the wall paper intimately connects to the idea of a proliferation of images that functions in the background, like wallpaper.
Joe Trupia’s painting/drawing hybrids are informed by a wide array of sources, including meteorological phenomena, viral pathology, topography, apocalypse cults, crypto zoology, evolutionary adaptation in birds, epidemiology, and ghosts. The projection of these dream like concepts of science up into cloudlike formation or down upon a landscape with no visible horizon line contrast each other with opposing points of view, suggesting flight or placement upon the earth.