Plastic Surgery to look like you
Whether it be Andy Coolquitt’s monochromatic ghosts, Guillaume Leblon’s weighty detachments, or Matthew Wong’s literal-scale representations, this exhibition underscores the points of physical and symbolic synergy between these different practices. Although each artist employs unique methodologies, sensibilities, and agendas, they are all activating the viewer’s own co-presence, and addressing each subject as an object. As actors engaging props on a stage, all components of this narrative, including you, are expanding and contracting in the elasticity of media & medium - the French speak of “les arts plastiques”.
The slippery dialogue between representation and abstraction is arguably the core issue of the Great Project of Modernism. The other well known theoretical dichotomies (and there are many) can all eventually be reduced to some variant of the classical mind-body problem. In all cases the latent, if obvious, protagonist is you. More specifically, your body … form, color, mass and surface are qualities that we can shape, or are shaped despite our best intentions. From Michelangelo’s ‘David’, through Bruce Nauman’s ground-breaking experiments with his own body, to the evolution of Michael Jackson’s face, the body as object is now more than ever a media unto itself. Outreaching your arm with your self-facing camera for the perfect selfie, rendering your self as an other - a great reminder that your body is the least mediated of all media.