INCENSE AND HOLOGRAMS
In his second solo show with the gallery, Matthew Schreiber explores a new series of modestly scaled light works and holography. Titled Incense and Holograms, this show comes on the heels of recent acquisitions by the Getty Museum and inclusion in MoMA's current show, New Order, of holographic collaborations, design and production by Schreiber. In a similar vein to Schreiber's monumental works, Incense and Holograms continues the artist's experiments with light and space to demonstrate the limits of human perception versus objective reality. Schreiber's work is a digestion of popular counter-culture from science-fiction to rock and roll. Yet what may seem like a singular fascination with "trippy" stage effects belies the more contemplative and poetic nature of Schreiber's practice. He is just as likely to reference a New Age gift shop as he is Stan Brakhage or Bruce Nauman. Schreiber's concern lies within a desire to 'wake up' the viewer and shake them out of their automatic processes. In an interview with Annegreth Nill Schreiber states, I grew up, as many people have, spending a big part of my time watching movies and TV. So the manipulation of our reality through media concerns me, and I think we are blind, for the most part, to a reality that is right in front of us. Art should help to wake us up. It is Schreiber's preoccupation with media that led him to consider light not as a passive experience, but as an active one. Schreiber is, in many instances, the exact opposite of other Light and Space artists. While both of them utilize light to engage with an unseen objective reality, Schreiber's holographic light works approach these subject from a mirrored standpoint. Artists likeFlavin or Bell make use of light to engage a space through its interactions with an environment. Schreiber, on the other hand, contains and controls light to create a 3-dimensional object independent of an environment. It is this subversion that is the essence of holography. When light misbehaves by standing still it pushes the viewer towards viewing it not as a simple passive phenomenon, but as something with a material existence and dimension of its own. It is in the act of containing a diffuse material where the spiritual undertones of Schreiber's work really shine. The incense and sacred geometry found in his pieces are semiotics used to guide the viewer to a deeper understanding of the physical nature of a fundamental form of energy. Light is a material whose existence we solely depend upon but whose reality we rarely acknowledge. By making the universal constant stand still, Schreiber creates a parallax in the minds of the viewers that puts them in relationship to, and in conversation with, themselves. What at first glance appears to be a parlor trick reveals itself to be the demonstration of one of the most fundamental philosophical principles one can grapple with; who we are and what our relationship is to the world.