PERFORM is a solo exhibition presented at Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College that explores the roles of virtual and actual audiences in the digital age. The exhibition features large-scale oil paintings alongside a site-specific duct tape installation. The work explores a world in which people are increasingly absorbed in virtual communication, and subsumed in the urge to project on social media. The images examine the pressure to constantly record and display the most obscure moments of the day, or to announce the self as a witness to significant moments.
The images extend beyond the canvas and into the space itself as I combine oil paintings and use duct tape to ‘paint’ directly on the walls. I use the subtle differences in tone and transparency to mold tape into figures and forms. Beyond its sculptural qualities, the tape also implies something precarious or temporary, speaking to the tension between the craving for connection and the fickleness of virtual communication.
The tension between anonymity and individuality, between authenticity and performance that are at the center of the show will also be the focus of two lectures that I will be offering in conjunction with the exhibition. The first, an artist talk, will focus on the creative process itself. The second, as part of the Human Rights Conference at Nassau Community College, will focus on art and social activism. The lectures are designed to engage NCC students and faculty and are open to the public.
The immersive nature of the installation is an invitation to slow down, and spend a contemplative moment in this space. In a reality where we are increasingly watching and being watched, ‘PERFORM’ speaks to the necessity of observing anew the audiences and performances that shape our every day.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2015)