LIZ DESCHENES: ANDREW
KREPS GALLERY NEW YORK, NEW YORK
it or not, were walking on air. More than ever, we accept a muted
sense of actuality in order to allow a foreign substitute to replace our
own. Even the vicarious experience has progressed from traditional spectatorship
to a higher form of imagined participation, which by default denies the
knowledge of its inherent fantasy. Walter Benjamin informed us that with
the proliferation of film, the equipment-free aspect of reality
here has become the height of artifice; the sight of immediate reality
has become an orchid in the land of technology. Filmmaking has developed
a dependency on the chroma key. Throw in a blue screen, and let the world
be shaped anew, cell by cell, pixel by pixel. For years, the business
of entertainment has relied on the easy appeal of emulated realism. It
has thrilled audiences with actualizations of natural and fantastic disasters,
such as tornadoes, earthquakes, meteor impacts and alien invasions.
Because reality can now be selectively chosen at will, its conditions
can be abandoned. These new technologies provided a discursive context
for reconstituting the process by which the mind considers new experience.
Mariko Moris works, for example, use computer imaging to place her
in fantastic scenes or to transform her into other identities, such as
a mermaid or an oversized pop star doll. Toni Dove made an interactive
movie (a romantic thriller) about shopping that spans two centuries.
In her show Blue Screen Process, Liz Deschenes takes an extreme
step of undoing the entire practice of reality making. Her photographs
of single-colored backdrops unmask the intended artifice in mass entertainment,
and at the same time capture their underlying fleshless singularity. Artists
have been considering the world in fragments and pieces, but now the process
of reassembly is no longer just simple synthesis; we now live in an age
of electronically mediated dreams. In the art that has followed, efforts
at semblance have been rejected. In this instance, the rejection is complete.
In a large close-up photograph of a green screen, the overall solidity
of the color is broken up into smaller segments resembling string-like
sub particles, abstracting the undressed screen to its barest form. A
large photographic backdrop hangs down a wall and a short length of the
floor. The backdrop itself is a photograph, an image that has been captured
In a photo diptych, a colossal green screen presides over a TV studio;
the cameras are off, and the set is empty. On air, this giant will disappear,
its physical presence replaced by the video graphics of a news program.
In the editable world, no object is immune to manipulation. Physicality
recedes into the invisible, becoming a mere vessel for projected information.
The blatant subversion of the actual in the hope of greater intimacy and
realistic experience has, ironically, spawned a culture of doubt. We have
become proficient second guessers, no matter the greater sophistication
of the magicians tricks.
New York, New York