Views from Somewhere: Document, Chicago
In the bootleg stock photos of Lens Line (2021), women are no longer laughing alone with salad. Instead, a woman rotates a camera lens in one hand like a fidget gadget. The sequential images are fused into slim lengths of colored, translucent glass that encircle the gallery space, enacting a basic animation. Sometimes the object is clearly legible as a lens, with a clear view through the aperture to the other side. Sometimes it’s just a piece of black plastic. Rather than the manicured nails of white women in stock photos, we get something closer to the media used as training data for computer vision, an unmanicured middle-aged hand.
Proportionally, the glass invokes color negative film and the late 20th century’s post-color pre-digital period, channeling 1980s Yashica camera advertisements. Their tints cycle through the hues of the rainbow to cast colored shadows on the wall below. In the solar panel-like grid of Reflection Piece (2021), we might see the dry plates of silver bromides too, but their polished surfaces suggest the black mirror of a fingerprint-smudged phone screen. Stylized shadows on each panel meanwhile suggest the skeuomorphic icons of flat design. They are the neon yellow of tennis balls and hi-vis vests, an indexical color that points as if to say look through my lens. Can you see what I see?
This is a spare monologue, not an ensemble production. It is a show about managed expectations and the human scale of a single artist working alone during a pandemic, or a woman reading alone in a room. It’s not trying to overwhelm you. It distills down to a line; a continuous stripe of highlighter against the white gallery walls, like a blank page.