Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gallery 106 Green presents Whitey on the Moon, curated by Kanishka Raja. The opening reception will be on Sunday September 13th from 4-7. Show will run from September 13th - October 11th. Hours are Sundays only from 12 - 6 or by appointment.

Whitey On The Moon

By way of commemorating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing in some sideways fashion, Whitey On the Moon will showcase work documenting various aspects and impressions of said satellite, made by artists who have been there. Field recordings essentially, made by intrepid explorers of dimensions extending both outward and inward.

How did they get there? What were they doing for this long? We don’t know. Perhaps, to avoid unspeakable earthbound horrors, they escaped. Perhaps, to serve diabolical experimental impulses, they were secretly rendered. No matter: here for the first time, they render back.

The exhibition, naturally, is replete with images and impressions of abandoned and vandalized sites, languid and mysterious surfaces that hint at unspecified landscapes, weird creatures -- neither organic nor inorganic -- borne of botched genetic experiments, odd reclamations of junk invaded by patterns that hover between absurd and abstract, vast cosmos built from scraps of domesticity, shards of confessional aesthetics and all manner of flimflam simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic.

Whitey On The Moon takes its title from a Gil Scott-Heron song from 1970. Written in the wake of America’s triumphant lunar escapade, the song points up the contradictory social conditions that allowed for glaring economic inequities to persist “on the ground” while massive resources and energies were simultaneously being spent toward a program based as much on chest thumping cold war jingoism as on genuine scientific experiment.

Contemporary perceptions of the moon landing on the other hand, tend to be marked by a different kind of disjunction: one that acknowledges that lunar expeditions (and space travel in general) stopped being, at some point, about the future and instead became about the past. The kind of exploratory optimism that perceived space travel to always encompass some notion of a fantastic future appears hopelessly recherché in the current historical moment.

Appropriately, the work in the show addresses this incongruity from a variety of positions and materials. Clearly, none of it is either directly about the moon or about GS-H’s proto-rap broadside. They carry nonetheless, some essence of our relationship to both these elements. Meditations on memory, each object in Whitey On the Moon is evidence of an artist parsing with uncommon keenness and sensitivity, their relationship to materials of the past, real or perceived, collective or personal, recorded or imaginary.

Paolo Arao
Per Billgren
Robert Bordo
Tom Burckhardt
Tim Davis
R.M. Fischer
Yamini Nayar
Sheila Pepe
Shawn Thorton
James J. Williams III

Kanishka Raja, curator

Installation Shots 

Title Wall

Tim Davis. Virgin Mary (King of Cyan). C-Print. 40 x 50.5 inches.

Yamini Nayar, Tom Buckhardt, Robert Bordo, R.M. Fischer

Yamini Nayar. By A Thread. C-Print. 30 x 40 inches.

Tom Burckhardt. Pagan Love. Pen and acrylic on bookcover. 10 x 8 inches.

Robert Bordo. Little Big Baby. Oil on canvas. 12 x 14 inches.

R.M. Fischer. RMF-3256. Vinyl, fabric, felt, thread, polyester fiberfill and brass. 79 x 38 x 31 inches.

Installation View.

Paolo Arao. Rapture. Charcoal on paper. 22 x 30 inches.

Shawn Thorton. Lobotomy Of The Ghost Mechanics. Scarab Timetable.
from the series: Cartographers of the Pineal Eye. Oil on Panel. 11 x 11 inches.

Rober Bordo. Buddy. Oil on Linen. 32 x 40 inches.

Yamini Nayar. from top: Study 3, Study 1. architectural drawing on photograph. both 10.5 x 13.5 inches. 

 James J. Williams III. Like A Bird's Cross Eyes, We Pick Up Steam. Mixed media. 75 x 24 x 42 inches.

Per Bilgren. Untitled.  C-print. 16 x 20 inches.

Sheila Pepe. Mixed materials. Dimensions vary.

Installation View.

 Anonymous. Untitled. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 28 inches.

 Paolo Arao. Study for Welcome, Glory. Graphite on Paper. 6 x 9 inches.

 Tom Burckhardt. Haddidou. Collage and ink on bookpage. 11 x 16 inches.

 Shawn Thornton. Black Pyramid Meditation. from the series: Cartographers of the Pineal Eye.
Oil on panel. 11 x 11 inches.

Sheila Pepe. Untitled. Ink on paper. 30 x 22 inches.

Tom Burkhardt. Nations At War. Pencil and acrylic on bookcover. 15 x 10.5 inches.

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