Rhys Hecox • Karen Lee Williams • Christopher Richmond
Curated by Melinda Wang
SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NYC's curator-driven art fair during Armory Arts Week
Four Times Square, New York, NY
2017 Curatorial Theme: Black Mirror
#SUNSET is an immersive installation that explores the ubiquity, beauty and tragedy of sunset photos, and through this investigates the interplay of documentation, experience, memory and mediation. Sunset photos are consistently among the most posted, shared, liked and mocked images on social media. Yet it is hard to resist capturing the enchantment of an orange-hued sky. Through our 21st century “black mirrors” in the form of phones and screens, we frame and capture landscapes as 18th and 19th century painters did with their Claude Glasses. These photos bring us all together in a shared experience, yet are interpreted, mediated and stylized according to each creator’s perspective – as both a mode of self-expression and as a self-portrait of the creator.
Through works by Rhys Hecox, Karen Lee Williams and Christopher Richmond, #SUNSET encourages dialogue about our social media-driven culture, our modern black mirrors, 21st century Romanticism and the multiplication of shared memories, as well as the tragic element of attempting to document lived experience.
Hecox’s new video, “Most popular reengineered optical image stabilization machine” (2017), is a syncopated compilation of thousands of sunset photos from social media and exposes the fine line between beauty and banality. Confronted with the sheer number of similar images, what do each of these “special moments” really mean? In his new 16mm film, “Line” (2017), Hecox explores abstraction and the expressive qualities of film as a dark sky blends into the dark waters of Lake Superior and a burst of neon sun emerges.
Lee Williams presents “On a Clear Day,” a series of sculptures and editions created specifically for SPRING/BREAK Art Show exploring images that are doubly-mediated through photography and a veil of wax. These works examine how the desire to preserve a fleeting moment in the end obscures the clarity of the experience.
In Richmond’s 16mm film, “Chasing the Horizon” (2009), the artist sets out on a perpetual run towards the setting sun to prevent the day’s end. In one long tracking shot, the film explores the liminal boundary of the horizon as the artist documents a continual state of becoming. Urgent yet futile, heroic yet tragic, the lone figure represents each of us running towards the future.
Image: Christopher Richmond, still from Chasing the Horizon (2009), 16mm color film transferred to HD, 8 minutes and 48 seconds © Christopher Richmond