Flesh Before Body
For her first solo exhibition at Bad Reputation, Diane Severin Nguyen presents six photographs along with an alteration of the gallery by installing a circular window to re-situate our vantage point from inside out. Nguyen constructs photographic images as a means of material transfiguration, allowing the limitations of the lens and its consequent two-dimensional print to suspend a physical moment long enough to catalyze new tactilities and transformations. The materials are profane, plant-based, coagulated, metallic, sentimental and slippery; their labels and functions are ex-communicated in favor of a more urgent plausibility, a non-linguistic and speculative one. A dominant symbolic space is re-configured from a position of semiotic intimacy, the kind of closeness that words might be unable to sustain. Light is a transient prosthetic like sun-setting, iPhone flash, battery-powered LED, fire. The camera intervenes moments before the unbecoming of these temporary and excessively touched arrangements. Redemption is refuted by stillness, and if the camera has any sympathies, they are peripheral.