Retrospective, a group exhibition at Exgirlfriend, opening July 6th, 2019
Artists: Mit Borras, Jason Lazarus, Erin Mitchell, Olivia Lennon, Fiona Valentine Thomann, Amir Chasson, Vera Kox, Daniel Hundsdörfer, Christopher Meerdo
Untitled, a figure leaned forward and low, and breaking into the bottom of a notional frame, is an isolated figure, sourced from an unattributed photograph (Getty/Keystone, Oct 3, 1966), “peering through the Berlin Wall into the Eastern sector near Check Point Charlie. The newly erected wall has no barbed wire, only tubes which make it difficult to gain a handhold should anyone try to climb over.”
The image Untitled was pulled from reveals one of the hundreds of body postures one can extract when surveying original Berlin wall reportage–gaps and cracks in the Berlin wall become apertures, attracting and contorting bodies, refracting tentative to desperate, anxious seers. Our bodies have a lot to teach us about seeing and vision.
Long interested in image marginalia (image edges, inferred content beyond the edge of the frame, or image versos) as a revelatory image field when newly-centered, Untitled uses the increasingly ubiquitous waterproof LED lights that outline urban storefront advertisements, doors, and windows, as itself an image-making device to render Untitled.
Unlike neon, designed for the eye to be trained on, and an easy seduction, LED lights are cheap, brutal and high impact. Because of their economy and searing visual impact, strings of LED lights are often left on 24 hours a day, at night becoming ghost signifiers, and during the daytime, because of their strength, the daylit storefronts–even in full sunshine–become a drop-shadow of the lights themselves. They are not meant to be looked at direct, but near, these lights are almost never pointed at products, but directly at us.