Foley Gallery’s High Summer Steps Out of the Shade

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Osman Can Yerebakan | No Comments
Foley Gallery’s High Summer Steps Out of the Shade
High Summer at Foley Gallery

High Summer at Foley Gallery

‘It is perfectly natural for the Sun 

to shine initially on the upper lefthand 

corner of the first page of this book’

Francis Ponge, The Sun Placed in the Abyss

Francis Ponge was referred to as ‘the poet of things’ for his ability to elevate the essence of mundane objects—soap, cigarettes or oranges. The way Alain Robbe-Grillet revitalized furniture in The Erasers, Ponge, like many other Surrealists, deconstructed the confinements of reason and tangible reality, blurring the hierarchy between objects and living things. The most challenging depiction he embarked on arguably was his The Sun Placed in the Abyss essay, in which he articulates on the sun’s metaphoric impact on terrestrials.

High Summer at Foley Gallery

High Summer at Foley Gallery

Penelope Umbrico, Pirouette for CRT, 2012

Penelope Umbrico, Pirouette for CRT, 2012

Of the summer group exhibitions currently on view in Chelsea, Lower East Side and elsewhere, Foley Gallery’s High Summer, curated by Joseph Desler Costa and Jeremy August Haik, takes account the season’s thriving temperatures in the most literal sense, as well as adopting Ponge’s text as source material. The sun, with all allegories and facts it perpetuates, is the central or auxiliary subject for each piece in the exhibition that features twenty-four lens-based artists. “What is the Sun?” asks Ponge in his essay and adds, “that which dominates all things therefore, cannot be dominated”.

The omnipresence of this yellow sphere is of a kind that is indisputable; unlike any other sources of power—divine or tangible—the sun poses universal and pervasive. Yet, like any other supreme source, the sun destructs as much as it nourishes. On the other hand, the impossibility of having a complete vision of its full extent only augments its mysterious aura.

Works by Bill Jacobson in High Summer

Works by Bill Jacobson in High Summer

Works by Dillion DeWaters in High Summer

Works by Dillon DeWaters in High Summer

Penelope Umbrico’s ninety-second long GIF animation, Pirouette for CRT, includes images of outmoded tubed TVs listed on Craigslist for disposal, intricately edited to create a perfect cycle with the way each TV is photographed. Looping gadgets reflect the light on their screens while they continue in their perfect cycle similar to the sun’s journey over a year or the Earth’s in twenty-four hours.

Bobby Davidson, American Cinematographer Manual, 10th Edition with 36 Fluroscent Tube, 2016

Bobby Davidson, American Cinematographer Manual, 10th Edition with 36 Fluroscent Tube, 2016

Works by Pacifico Silano in High Summer

Works by Pacifico Silano in High Summer

Bobby Davidson’s American Cinematographer Manual, 10th Edition with 36” Fluorescent Tube, one of the few three dimensional works in the exhibition, combines the 10th edition of American Cinematographer Manual—an obsolete source for cinematographers, including Davidson himself—with a fluorescent bar piercing through. Considering the cruciality of the right timbre of the sun for those working with camera, the sculpture, sitting on a custom-made wooden Apple chassis, is self-referential and unabashedly self-mocking.

Works by Thomas Albdorf in High Summer

Works by Thomas Albdorf in High Summer

Works by Joseph Desler Costa in High Summer

Works by Joseph Desler Costa in High Summer

Works by Dillon DeWaters, Thomas Albdorf, Justine Kurland, Genevieve Gaignard and Bill Jacobson refer to absence of the (or a) sun within the frame, while their juxtapositions claim its impact as evident. The glare the sun radiates as reaction to the camera on the subject matter is another strong motif, emphasized by a group of artists including Pacifico Silano, who photographed men from the pages of the 70s’ gay porn magazines with accents of light glaring on their faces, as well as Erin O’Keefe, Christopher Rodriguez and Tommy Kha, who poignantly utilized the sun’s reflection to blur his model’s identity in his photograph.

High Summer will remain on view at Foley Gallery through August 20, 2016.