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Art and New Media: Strategies to Dream with the eyes wide open.

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Natalia Benedetti. Let’s Go Get Lost. Video installation, Dimensions Variable. All images are courtesy of World Class Boxing.

 Under the title The Importance of Daydreams, the World Class Boxing (WCB) offers to us during this summer an evocative show. The gallery displaying contemporary art from the collection of Debra & Dennis Scholl has established a very dynamic working practice: presenting invariably oeuvres from the collection but at every time under a completely new renovated perspective thanks to an always-different curatorial standpoint.

This time the curatorial concept went on Tyler Emeron-Dorsch, Dorsch Gallery co-director, who has been invited to make an exhibition on New Media. Such is the spirit that encourages The Importance of The Daydreams, composed of thirteen contemporary artworks where the video and photography manifestations prevail.
The show has a very particular hallmark: the unusual point of view proposed by each of the creators included in this exhibition; Viewpoints that in all cases encourages the viewer perception toward another perspective, a different prism through which to analyze facts, emotions, and –of course- the inner artistic experience.
Tim Davis. Rainbow Bread, 2006. 8 ½ x 10 inches.  
In this regard, some oeuvres play with concepts borrowed from science to establish new creation principles that serve at one time as new conceptual statement and as a deconstruction of the artistic space in its most traditional sense. Accordingly, highlight the oeuvres of Edgar Arceneaux, Ray y Charles Eames y John Baldessari.
Counting from 1 to 99,999. Blind Contour Drawing, Edgar Arceneaux (Los Ángeles, 1972), 2004, is emblematic of this. The work is a large scale drawing of the artist's hand where to each juncture have been given a number that corresponds to a complicated numerical system and capricious equivalences in the perspective that leads us to a vanishing point located away from the physical limit of the drawing. Curiously, the vanishing point guides us to the gallery gate, inducing the viewer to the exit; the only key is located beyond the narrow space of the art.
Powers of Ten, 1977, Ray Eames (1912-1988) and Charles Eames (1907-1978), starts from a zenith view of a man lying outdoors on a picnic tablecloth. The opening image is a clin d'oeil to other similar scenes from the Art History like Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe by Manet. This establishment shot is the starting point for an exponential zoon-out (based on the 10 as a constant, the distance increases by 10 percent every 10 seconds) that guides us from the human scale to the macrocosms and from there to the microcosms. The film, sponsored by IBM, was made in the early development of modern computing era. In this sense, the 10 as a binary expression of the world, is charged of new meanings embodying itself the endless possibilities.

 John Baldessari. The Fallen Easel, 1988. 74 x 95 inches

The show includes an artwork from John Baldessari (Nacional City, California, 1931) whose prolix career is inextricably linked to the process of deconstruction of art, not without irony. Baldessari is a pioneer in the use of non-traditional media such as typography, film and photography that the artist manipulate in order to create areas of misinformation and empty spaces that play a vital role in the complex process of perception that typifies Baldessari’s production.
The Fallen Easel, 1987 is composed of several photographic fragments. The image becomes a complicated jigsaw puzzle where the viewer tries desperately -and in vain- to catch the internal logic. The visually suggested kinetic effect is reinforced by the title of the artwork that -at a symbolic level- seems to refer to a biographic passage: the artist’s definitive abandonment of the painting as a traditional manifestation.

 

Also working with the photography and with a tough sense of deconstruction, irony and autoreferenciality stands Meredyth Sparks’ oeuvre included in the exhibition. Sparks’ work appropriates figures icons of the mass culture that the artist digitally manipulates and decorates with white glitter and silver packing tape. Untitled (Every Knows This is Nowhere), 2007, consists of a diptych. On the left, an enlarged photo of the cover of the second album from Neil Young, icon of the culture of resistance in the seventies, gives title to the artwork. The use of glitter and shiny tape as pure sufficient forms with diagonal directions emphases the tension subjacent in the figurative scene now acting as a background and lead us to the Russian Constructivism vanguard movement, prompting new analogies.
 
Peter Coffin. Untitled, 2006. 12 x 12 inches
 
Between the video artworks presented in the show highlights Crossroads, 1975. In this allegorical video, Bruce Conner (Kansas, 1933–San Francisco, 2008) appropriates footage from the U.S. government's controversial experiment entitled Operation Crossroads  and consistent in nuclear detonations under water. Conner proposes a new montage with a high metaphorical character. From a film history standpoint, the work is a direct heir of the intellectual montage created by Sergei Eisenstein at the beginning of the twenty century.
The Importance of Daydreams includes also very versatile contemporary artists like Peter Coffin, Paul Chang and Tim Davis.

 

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