A photo essay of selected images from 1708 Gallery’s fifth annual InLight Richmond held on November 2, 2012 with a statement by InLight Richmond juror Melissa Ho.
DEVON JOHNSON, Centreville, VA
Noms de Pays, 2012, Super 8mm converted to digital format
Winner of Best in Show Award
“Sometimes the fragment of landscape thus transported into the present will detach itself in such isolation from all associations that it floats uncertainly upon my mind… and I am unable to say from what place, from what time—perhaps, quite simply, from which of my dreams—it comes.”
– Marcel Proust
I embrace the indiscriminate decay of that relentless conqueror—time, which lays waste to the physical world, as well as to our memories of places. The harder we try to fight it, the more distorted our memory becomes. We only remember the last time we remembered (something that perhaps never was). I am not saddened by the fabricated nature of memory because every time I look to the past, I create a new story in my mind. I can only hope that this tale will get better with time. Each shard of memory has the potential to bring up countless narratives, yet unknown. Where they begin hardly matters—it is where they can make the mind go. Time is the ultimate leveler, something from which nothing ever escapes. I offer up this vision, a memory of a memory, its origins unknown.
JASON PETERS, Brooklyn, NY
Meandering Dynamics, 2012,
Found buckets, LED lights, cable
Winner of Best in Green Award
In my installations I try to archive a transformative moment, removing the viewer from accustomed modes of thinking and seeing, from the constraints of id and ego, if only for a second. In my abstract works, I operate within the notion of a kind of contemporary sublime. The sublime deals with feelings of fear and awe that one experiences when confronted with things that are dark, mysterious, incomprehensible, and potentially threatening. The sublime gives way to feelings of pleasure and joy when the viewer recognizes that there is no immediate threat.
My sculptures and installations work in precisely this way, initially disorienting the viewer, then giving way to the delight of solving his/her visual puzzles, and enjoying the work’s graceful and colorful forms. The materials I use are found and mass-produced. It is looking for these waste streams that gives rise to some great materials and their potential to become something new. Recycling some of these materials allows us to revisit our relationship to items we generally overlook.
NELLY KATE + DAVE WATKINS, Richmond, VA
Interstitial Transduction, 2012,
Interactive audio visual installation and performance
Winner of People’s Choice Award
This is an unsettling of dreams deferred. In this collaboration we aim to pause the ragged paradigms. To shorten the distance between action and effect. To create something euphonic and dynamic together in a crowd-affected piece—of sound and video, light and performance—pulsing within the heart of the city. To draw this community inward, where one touch will change everything. To shorten the distance between ourselves, unfolding something common and inspired. To share, coexist, project, create, and progress.
InLight Richmond 2012 Community Lantern Parade
1708 Gallery’s InLight Richmond 2012 kicked off with the Community Lantern Parade. In the months before InLight, 1708 organized a series of lantern-making workshops that were free and open to all ages and skill levels. Participants in the workshops were invited and encouraged to participate in the Community Lantern Parade.
CLIFF BALDWIN, Aquebogue, NY
Language of Light, 2012, Live mix
The Language of Light explodes and examines the words and language associated with man-made and natural light. TLOL fuses Music from the Aquebogue Orchestrion with words and images that celebrate light in all its myriad manifestations. The Aquebogue Orchestrion is a digital musical instrument that provides the soundtrack as light and color are coupled with musical pipes, whistles, crumpled metal, scraping tin cans and hurdy gurdys.
Simultaneously derived from Moholy-Nagy’s Bauhaus Light and Space Modulator, George Maciunas’ graphic genius, Paik, Sharits, Méliés, Jacobs, Brakhage and Ono, this piece paraphrases carousels, broadsides and early film and video experimenters.
NIGHTHOUSE: ELAINE BUCKHOLTZ + FLOOR VAN DER VELDE, Jamaica Plain, MA
Score for Diamond Wall, 2012,
Video projection, light, and sound
“I want to create an atmosphere, one that can be plumbed with seeing, like the wordless thoughts that come from looking into a fire.”
Nighthouse’s work explores the medium of video, light, and sound as ephemeral phenomena and as interventions to unmask hidden aspects of architectural forms and landscapes that remain hidden in the light and chaos of the day. We are interested in poetic renderings that infuse space with image, light, and sound. In the last several years we have been responding to sites that the public can experience in unexpected and familiar places. Interfacing with sites to create quiet spectacles as a place for wonder is at the center of Nighthouse’s current body of work.
TANNAZ FARSI, Eugene, OR
Crowd Control, 2012,
Fluorescent lights, aluminum, steel, wire, ballast
I am interested in the form of a crowd control barrier in its metaphoric opposite—one where the light illuminates the edge of difference between one side and the other in absence of the people that generally define the parameter of this object. In recent years, my work has dealt with language and objects used in political protests through the use of installation and sculpture. In this particular piece, the delineation of a recognizable form with light allows me to manifest the perceptual and emotional aspects associated with specific objects that comprise the visual vocabulary of conflict. In translating the physical space of conflict through the abstract form of a divide, I am interested in revisiting the history of sculpture as a marker or memorial through a time-based gesture.
InLight Richmond 2012 Community Lantern Parade
In addition to public lantern-making workshops, 1708 Gallery was pleased to present workshops for a variety of community. Schools in the Richmond region were also invited to participate through their classes.
NATHAN GORGEN, Columbus, OH
Aspirations Illuminated, 2012,
Acrylic on canvas and molding, inkjet print, vinyl flooring, interactive digital projection
In our corporate, media-dominated world, we are provided with an incredible amount of manufactured information. With the incessant, 24-7 news cycle a click away on our smartphones and non-stop commercial bombardment on radios, televisions, and the Internet, we face a constant onslaught of slickly-produced “facts.” We base our life decisions on this information. This is problematic, as this information is unreliable and easily manipulated.
The intersection of a faux-painted environment and a digital projection is the crux of this piece. Here we observe the transition from faux simulation to digital simulation, which results in the faux environment being taken for “real” even though it is as much of an artifice as the projection. The mechanism for adjusting the digital environment’s perspective can only track one viewer at a time, so other viewers will be able to witness the way in which our digital environment can be manipulated to alter our individual perceptions.
BRIAN MCLEAN, Smyrna, GA
People Painter, 2012
, Paint, lights, plywood
The element of light is ephemeral. With its intangible nature, it can only be experienced, creating an interaction between itself and that which it illuminates. My work activates the space it inhabits, using light to instigate an interaction between sculpture, space, and viewer. The honest use of wood and logical construction is a platform for the viewer’s conceptual experience of the work. Through my sculpture, I aim to stimulate an environment causing people to reconsider the spaces they share.
VESNA PAVLOVIC, Nashville, TN
Real Images, 2012,
My projects develop as anthropological studies, analyzing different cultures and their visual representations through particular phenomena. I am interested in the experience of history and the changes it brings to society and culture. Issues of taste, aspiration and expectation, the friction of performance, set in different contexts, are some of the themes in my work. Either presented as a photographic print, or as a projected image within installation, the work attempts to reveal the layers constituting the image. The work is concerned with the production of nostalgia, for the photographic medium, its current position, and its obsolete technological objects. Historical, private or public archives, and found imagery are often subjected through a set of translations, which question and confront the photographic representation. The idea of the image—printed or projected, found or constructed, real or imagined—is central to my practice
PHILIP STEARNS, Brooklyn, NY
Aura(I) Study No. 1, 2012,
I create phenomenological works using light and sound, sometimes together, sometimes independently. Aura(l) Study No. 1 is an interactive piece that explores the translation of sound into light. In this work I’m interested in the ability of one medium to function poetically when represented within another, specifically how experience is communicated through undulating folds of space-time and coalesces in the creation of relationships between the group and the individual.
Since 2008, InLight Richmond has moved through the city, illuminating and enlivening a different neighborhood each year. For its fifth iteration, this one-night exhibition of light-based art returns to the home district of 1708 Gallery, transforming downtown Broad Street into an extended urban Kunsthalle. On November 2, 2012, visitors to the area’s storefronts, alleyways, and vacant lots will discover works by twenty-one artists and artist groups that feature light as material and subject.
Light is perhaps the ideal medium for art that occupies public space and aspires to engage a wide audience. Intangible and radiant, light activates its surroundings, breaking down the division between art object and viewer. Accordingly, many of the works in InLight Richmond encourage social interaction, incorporating the spontaneous participation of the audience. Others combine light with sound—an element which, like light, radiates through space, beckoning and engaging the spectator. A number of works in InLight Richmond address specific sites along Broad Street, using means that range from specialized projection systems to everyday materials such as tape, plastic buckets, and Christmas lights. Film and photography—media dependent on the action of light—form another focus of the exhibition. Several of these works explore the psychological or emotional associations of light, suggesting the photographic image as a metaphor for human memory.
1708 Gallery established InLight Richmond five years ago as an offering to the city, an extraordinary opportunity for the public to experience contemporary art outside of gallery walls. This edition, I hope, fulfills that promise, acting to stimulate the senses and expand our perceptions.
Trained as an artist and an art historian, Melissa Ho is assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. She was previously Exhibition Consultant on Color Chart: Reinventing Color, 1950 to Today at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Curatorial Assistant on the retrospective Barnett Newman at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the Hirshhorn, she recently co-curated the exhibition Dark Matters with Mika Yoshitake, and is coordinating the upcoming exhibition Barbara Kruger: Belief+Doubt. She has contributed numerous essays, catalogue entries, and reviews to catalogues and magazines, and has taught at Tyler School of Art and the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Ho has degrees in art history from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania, and did graduate work in fine arts at Carnegie Mellon University.
InLight Richmond was originally created to celebrate 1708 Gallery’s 30th anniversary and as a way to give something to the community in honor of this occasion. Thus was born the idea of a one-night, public art exhibition that would offer our community a chance to engage with contemporary art outside the gallery walls. From its conception, InLight Richmond was intended to highlight a particular section of our diverse city offering artists a different environment to which to respond and attracting audiences to unique areas of Richmond.
ext. 1708 is an on-line journal funded through a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which also supports 1708 Gallery’s exhibitions. 1708 Gallery’s mission is to promote new art, a mission achieved via a rotating schedule of exhibitions that presents a diverse range of projects. In relation, 1708 Gallery strives to educate the public about Contemporary art and employs artist talks and didactic text panels to illustrate the exhibiting artist’s issues, themes, and modes of working. In an effort to further expand opportunities for education, this journal features essays, interviews and other writings that provide context for 1708 Gallery’s exhibitions and promote further dialogue about contemporary art. 1708 Gallery works with a range of writers, from graduate students to professional writers, to allow for multiple voices and experiences to contribute to this project.