Saturday, June 25, 2016

Supershow at Good Children Gallery

Evil Earth System, the latest exhibition at the Good Children Gallery in the Saint Claude Art District is a solo show from the multi media artist Lala Raščić. Started in collaboration with the Slovenian programmer Marko Plahuta, the project involves data gathering, analysis and a visual representation of the resulting material through object-sculptures, videos and installations, spread throughout the two-room space. The artist born in Sarajevo obtained a Bachelor and a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. She presently lives and works in New Orleans, Sarajevo and Zagreb.
The visit begins with a black and white video: Neologism, 2016, made of a succession of words starting with the prefix neo, flashing on a small sized screen during a five minutes loop: neonazi, neobank, neoludic, neomayonnaise, ..., from political to plain wacky. Prototype 7, a busy installation, follows the punchy introduction. Sixteen objects made with wood, gold leaf and glass, are scattered on a wood plank supported by two saw horses. They provide a frame to the artificial light from bare transparent bulbs diffused through their simple shapes: rectangles and circles. The crowded display is carefully staged to create a sweeping geometric abstract composition on the wall with the objects' shadows. Table 2 is a gathering of works related to concrete poetry. Constructed with the same material, wood, gold leaf and glass, the pieces display letters or prefixes on layers of glass, multiplied like a visual echo for a stronger impact. Two silkscreens are set on Table 3 , fan-like webs spread on a transparent screen, reminding of maps filled with data. Three more works complete the show in the first room. Using the  technique of  "verre églomisé", reverse painting with gold leaf on glass, the artist combines reflections of the surroundings and a single word for Neoscape, Neosphere and Neoscope. In contrast, the back room is set like an office, bare, with a few cushions on the floor in front of a wall screen and across, a table and a chair facing a second screen. On one side, the video Evil Earth Notebook produced in 2015, a succession of reflections, quotes, texts from the artist or poets along stunning views of landscapes, faced by a webpage filled with data related to the use of  prefixes around the world. This room could be called "the repository" from which the exhibition is born. A two sided leaflet is available and provides cues about the show and the works.
Provocative? Maybe. The ludic introduction engenders a list of my own neowords: neome, neocreature, neoreality, ... What means neo? "new", "recent", "revived", "modified". How were the prefixes selected? neo, pro, anti, hyper, contra, pre, post, proto? The key to all these questions is found in the leaflet's lengthy text and can be resumed in two words: Twitter and poetry. The artist is giving a new life to the words by adding a prefix and through the installation Table 1 goes full circle: objectify the words, then add shadows to the object. Words are not final. What about the title of the show? It is a new world when data can be visualized at the click of a mouse. Why evil?
Lala Raščić fills the gallery with intellectually challenging and visually pleasing works.

photographs by the author

No comments: