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Shapeshifter, at Dorsch Gallery
November 29, 2008 - January 3, 2009
“Shapeshifter” is a group exhibition curated by Brook Dorsch and Tyler Emerson-Dorsch. The show includes work in several media, including paintings, video, projection, sculpture, and mixed media by Jenny Brillhart, Elisabeth Condon, Robin Griffiths, Richard Haden, Michelle Hailey, m lafille, Martin Murphy, Ralph Provisero, John Sanchez and Kyle Trowbridge.
As a premise, “Shapeshifter” puts forth the idea that change can come in many guises, some formal and other formative. The act of shapeshifting can be seen in morphing shapes or in trompe l’oeil. In fairy tales and horror stories special beings have the power to appear as an animal, a bat, dragon or dog, as a means of going somewhere or doing something which they could not do in their primary form. To go beyond this fantastical association, “Shapeshifter” presents artworks which use disguise or shifting states and forms as part of their method.
In paintings by Elisabeth Condon, a controlled accident of paint guides how she chooses to complete the composition. An orange spill stretches tendrils into and across the canvas. Condon responds to the orange spill’s own form to compose around the stain. Richard Haden’s beaten-up metal fender appears to be a piece of common urban detritus, but upon closer look - or glimpsing a clue - one discovers that it has been carefully constructed of wood, paint and epoxy. In Kyle Trowbridge’s new work of innocuous-looking books, he printed the code for one jpeg image, filling 28 volumes. The only clue for the viewer is the title “Rockthatass.jpg.” A projection by m lafille shows a 3-hour-long view out a train window on the journey between Marseilles and Paris. Trees blur and tracks turn into crisp diagonal lines. The landscape fades in and out of legibility, suggesting shifts in the train’s speed, or changes in the passenger’s (and viewer’s) attentiveness to the view. Martin Murphy’s video unites both visual and conceptual aspects of “shifting.” In his work, Murphy shows a middle-aged man undergoing a series of tests. As the tests continue, he begins to unravel, as he holds his face and sways forward. One is unsure whether he is crazy, or the tests have made him seem that way.
Dorsch Gallery. 151 NW 24th Street. Miami FL, 33127
T. 305 576 1278
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