not the territory
The world is warped when seen on a map. Massive sections of land that seem similar in size are really not equivalent at all. That warping emerges when the world is replaced by an abstraction, a pulling away, a departure from proximity, from the ability to touch and feel. This is an exhibition concerned with place, specifically the realities of place that escape the GPS yet still provide a sense of location, a ground. Surveying an inhabited landscape with naked eyes, mapping without maps, the artistic practices included here work with the potentialities of locality, specificity, and banality. They employ found objects, chance encounters, and the very idea of finding as a means of articulating the truth of a locale and those living there. These articulated truths need not reach out or speak explicitly, but are allowed to remain in position, asking that viewers come toward them in their specificity. Through his use of found objects and dramatic performances, Daniel T. Gaitor-Lomack reclaims furniture and cleaning implements, using legacies of labor to understand the dreams and aspirations hidden in the corners of social space. The ephemerality of quarter water jugs or flags waving in the wind are nestled in the fold of the living, brief moments recast in high relief. Chase Hall’s portraits and sculptures grapple with the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism in American mass culture and the lives that continue in the face of it. Appropriating magazine imagery, archival photographs, and product design, Hall captures the dignity of the land and those working it. From swirling paint emerges the texture of living, the feel of grandma’s sofa on a palm. Collecting materials on his walks, Derrick Maddox considers stains and wear, the mud and dirt jammed in the crevices of objects cast aside. The texture of the street, the free material found there (old food, cardboard, paper turned to pulp), becomes a means for a sociological reading of culture and economic marginalization, detrital images as social unconscious and un-conscience. Frames always crop; glances always miss. Riding along the endless avenue of words and images, Gabriella Sanchez connects vision, language, and touch. Juxtaposing modes of apprehension, the fragmentation of an ever-fleeting present rests on her picture planes, if only for a moment. Sissón travels through history and culture, meandering through the lives of figures as represented in books, records, and the history of African-American art writ large. His body of work maps the stars at a steady clip, revering the magical distance of the past, following the wiggling line worming its way through collective memory.