Rose Marcus’ works interrogate public space through the simple act of pointing. Her photographs coordinate and articulate what is in front of us all but not seen. Featuring baroque images at large scale, Marcus finds the robust, magnifying what is ignored as background.
Marcus’ photographs appear draped in swaths of fabric, between irregular panes of glass, and in framing that expresses bifurcations and mystery. The work pulls itself apart in order to flex what exists on a fundamental level. From this information emerges a revelation of a greater process, calling the viewer to project aspects of the landscape back into the whole and thus beginning the mystifying process of interpretation.
The fulcrum of Marcus’ new exhibition, FRONT, is New York City’s Sherman Monument, a gold plated statue at the edge of Central Park. The sculpture, which appears in multiple works, depicts the Civil War General Sherman astride a horse, behind Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. Through Marcus’ lens, the statue appears primarily as a place of convergence, surrounded by indicators of ceaseless development: construction sites, the workers who build them, local businesses, social services, and litter. The relationships between gender and safety, commerce and mobility, development and destruction, are all visible to the naked eye but with so little spectacle as to immediately become ambient. Even the statue, as Marcus’ work suggests, loses its intended significance, more relevant to its surroundings for ambiguous play of power relations than for the war-glorifying message it projects out into the ether. The viewer is faced with the coexistence of haphazard information, and imagery suddenly without symbolism makes clear the force pregnant in everything, leaving the prismatic, hiding there in plain sight.