Depending on how you look at it (and this seems to be the main thrust of this installation titled Suddenly I See Crystal Clear), you're either immersed in a holistic environment of inseparable, interdependent objects or you are viewing a disjointed exhibition of art objects that may or may not be seen in their best light nor spatial position, again, depending how you look at it. Another way to say what I just said is that either it matters to consider each of the elements in this exhibition on their own aesthetic terms or each one is to be read through the other and can only exist for this moment in time in this place. Ultimately, what lies underneath this question is wondering how this work would get restaged as portable art, if indeed, one takes the first path in the dilemma. The alternative would to to wonder how this show is it truly dependent on this site and could it exist elsewhere? Or can it break it apart, and be "sold" piece by piece like the bricks of monumental walls, for example.
Whichever way this dilemma gets answered, what's underneath does seem to be central to the exhibition given that the very ground on which the work is displayed--- a painted floor (which incidentally is not acknowledged anywhere in the exhibition checklist) of a converted storefront--- upholds everything including an audience who walks upon its surface in order navigate perspectives and points of view (redundant, I know...). So, while the very title of the exhibition declares clarity (transparency?), there seems to be a fair amount of opacity as it pertains to materials, place, and intent.
After the initial dilemma is acknowledged between object and environment, one is able to move around the space and enjoy the heightened sense of the place itself as a result of the main feature, the partition running down the approximate center titled, I Am Walking Down the Street And My Heart Goes Boom. It certainly recalls the experience of walking along metal fence lines all over urban LA, including the very neighborhood in which this installation is set. "I Am Walking..." divides the actual space between glass door and glass window and underscores said dilemmas literally. The entry side (the side which shares the door at the street) holds items (paintings of sorts) that hang neatly on the wall, though they are objects of some dimension, perhaps to be thought of as relief and a graphic match to the floor objects. The opposite side of the fence contains said floor objects (sculptures), and the transition across the "spine" displays works embedded/affixed to the space itself. So, roughly, one is looking at, through, against, and along an elongated space that organizes ideas of space and object into approximate dimensions through partial divisions. Certainly, it was not as exact as I just said, but it does organize a type of thinking about the work(s).
No question the fence takes center stage and provides intrigue as one follows its lines and flutters like sections of digital bytes approximating an analog curve. One cannot help but also consider the rows of similar partitions, wrought iron fences along sidewalks dividing public and private spaces in this very neighborhood of display not to mention most urban settings. How said fence in this exhibition sets up the show as a whole is one thing, and how it heightens certain architectural givens (pre-existing wall treatments, for example) or problematizes color perception in the direct view with the floor as much as can be noted in my own digital representations here in this blog, is all worth noting, not to mention its metaphorical potentials in body (spine), and technology (physical digital). Certainly, how divisions can be thought about as increments of movement along a path is evident here also with respect to floor sculptures that make similar connections. When considered on one scale, the floor appears like water, the objects appear like distant islands with wire beacons painted a fading red (a warning color to be sure and also a sign of body decay in transition on account of how they are painted). With this reading then, I begin to think about melting ice caps and my own walking on water, and subsequent bend toward the surface beneath me. "I Am Walking..." does the same thing the further in you go. Then I look about and see a tropical waterfall as mural and am shifted back to a current flow. So, scales shifts and transitions abound with currency and flux.
Works like this, ones that appear so much like "sets" (to use the local industry vernacular) seem to also set a stage for photography and video, current methods by which most viewers are welcome to come to terms through their own shots and sharing; it's what I'm doing. As I began to wonder how much the makers were thinking about an audience and how said audience would be sharing the views, no doubt photographically through specific cyber-sites replete with fences (screens) of another kind, I return to the formal dilemmas. Whatever side is taken in this discussion about artworks and place, I think I'm, well, um, still too on the fence about this one (and that actually might be a good thing); I think Fullerman and Keller are too.