It Was a Low-lying Foglike Floating
curated by Ian Breidenbach for Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia
It Was a Low-lying Foglike Floating is a multimedia exhibition of works that draw attention to our relationship to art as an audience; works that are less interested in the battle between the artists' intentions and the audience's interpretation, but are instead self referential to the moment which connects the two: the act of exploration conducted upon viewing. To look at art is to accept the unknown, it requires a willingness to seek and experience the new, to open yourself up to the possibility of the impossible, to the pursuit of wonder.
A few years ago, I stood in front of my first Robert Irwin piece, having just finished reading Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees. It was one of his disc paintings, and this one was lit to particular perfection. I knew what I was looking at, a convex plastic disc, but for the life of me I couldn't tell where the disc ended and the shadows began. Its roundness disappeared. It was really quite amazing. My eyes were moving around studying this spectacle, all the while a grin growing wider and wider across my face. I was unburdened, there was a lightness, I lost my breath, or at least I forgot to exhale. I imagine that that is what floating might feel like...only inhaling, forever.
It was nothing new, it was a feeling I had felt before, and it is a feeling that I will continue to seek. I felt it when I finished reading Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. I felt it, and still feel it every time I watch the films of Andrei Tarkovsky. Perhaps it's only a coincidence that all of these contain instances of floating and levitation. More likely though, is that these are just the types of work to which I am continually drawn; to science fiction, to fantasy, or magical realism.
I began to equate that experience with the unknown, that confrontation with the new, with floating. Working along these lines It Was a Low-Lying Foglike Floating became a visual representation of the emotions and ideas I'd imagine you would feel if you began to float. This realization led to collecting works that straddle the line between technology and wonder; works that play with the real becoming the unreal, and our reliance on that ambiguity for further discovery and exploration.
When I first began work on this proposal, I had just recently found the work of Anne Vieux. Her work was intriguing; it was new and I didn't understand it. I kept returning to it night after night, getting lost in the images and videos on her website. It was shiny and psychedelic; it felt like outer space, but a nostalgic outer space, like the outer space from childhood. It was doing weird things to my brain. I could feel the lightness. I didn't know her when I contacted her about the show, I was chasing the sensation of the new and unknown. She agreed to participate and her work became the catalyst for this show.
Rick Silva's video works and Zachary Norman's digital renderings contain a perfect mix of concept, aesthetics, and references to the processes that created them. Their subject matter bridges the gap between science and nature, representation and creation. Spencer Stucky's Canine Unit 341 series documents the process of collecting motion capture data of an all black German Shepherd, creating photographs that look more like images of constellations in the night sky. And finally, Ry McCullough's series Something Lost on the Way to the Moon - black and white prints that resemble masks - draws our attention to the artifice of our pursuit as artists.
Art is a pursuit that draws on our ghosts and memories, our hopes and idealisms. A pursuit of a perfect moment, not for ourselves but for others. The reward of viewing, that particular lightness, that floating, is fleeting, because for artists that pursuit is an addiction, but for the audience that moment becomes a gift.
Participating Artists Bios
Ry McCullough (b. 1979) earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio where he concentrated in the areas of printmaking and sculpture. Upon completion of his undergrad he served as the Director of Sculptural Studies as well as teaching printmaking at Stivers School for the Arts. He now lives in Athens, Georgia furthering his studio practice and research as a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Georgia in the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s Printmaking and Book Arts Department. McCullough has exhibited nationally, internationally and continues to contribute to a variety of collaborative projects with other artists and curators.
Anne Vieux (b. 1985, Norman, OK) she received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute before receiving an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2012. Most recently she was included in Salon, a group exhibition at Harbor Gallery in NYC. In 2014, she released Transitory Flatspace, an editioned book project with Small Editions in Brooklyn. She is currently an artist in residence with Eskff+Witches of Bushwick at Mana Contemporary. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Rick Silva (b. 1977, Sao Paulo, Brazil) is an artist whose recent videos, websites and images explore notions of landscape and wilderness in the 21st century. He received an MFA from The University of Colorado in 2007, and has since shown extensively nationally and internationally, with recent shows in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Brazil, China, Italy and Ireland. Silva's art has been shown in festivals worldwide, including Transmediale in Germany, Futuresonic in the U.K. and Sonar in Spain. His projects have been supported through grants and commissions from organizations such as Rhizome and The Whitney Museum of American Art. He frequently works with the experimental gallery spaces TRANSFER Gallery (NYC) and Ditch Projects (Springfield, OR). He lives in Eugene, OR where he is an Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at the University of Oregon.
Spencer Stucky (b. 1987, San Francisco) graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 before receiving his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Stucky has exhibited in the US and abroad including the Elmhurst Art Museum, and Schingoethe Gallery, at Aurora University, as well as featured in Ambit Magazine (London), and other publications. In 2014 Stucky was awarded the Clare Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists. Stucky currently lives and works in Chicago, IL and is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute.
Zachary Dean Norman (b. 1985) received his BFA from Kalamazoo College, in Kalamazoo, MI before studying at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He received his MFA in Photography from Indiana University in 2014. He has shown nationally and internationaly, with recent shows at Project 3F Gallery, in Kyoto Japan, TGIF Gallery in New York City, NextArt Galleri in Gothenburg, Sweden and Gallerie Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm, Sweden. He currently lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Esther Ruiz (b. 1986, Houston, TX) received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Art from Rhodes College in 2011. She has shown nationally and internationally at various galleries including Brooklyn Wayfarers, Platform Baltimore, Vox Populi, Field Projects, Fridman Gallery, Regina Rex, and The American Center for Physics. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.