April 15th, 2012

Allison Katz at 1857

Artist: Allison Katz

Venue: 1857, Oslo

Exhibition Title: Daymark

Date: March 23 – April 15, 2012

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of 1857, Oslo

Press Release:

1857: 1857 is proud to present a solo show with New York-based, Canadian-born artist Allison Katz?

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Allison Katz:………(

#: Invited to be forced to interfere with a finished work. To block the view, form a space by threats. Turn phallus into uterus.

A: Yes, I always knew that in person the room at the top of the lighthouse would be smaller than I thought. That is usually the case. I was actually totally unprepared for the grandeur of the concrete room, coming from the small first gallery and the office. That just cannot be captured in a photograph. It’s like going from a small waiting room into a hollowed Egyptian pyramid.

#: The scales are off.

A: Scale is surreal.

#: The Daymark is the identity of a lighthouse in daylight — the unique colour or pattern applied on the architecture — while the lantern is its birthmark in the night. The moving light attracts the attention of the eye. A vase, however highly decorated, would not be orbited by moths.

The moving light steals your eye, while the painted surface begs for consciousness.

A: You called it Telephone because of the placement of the senses. To call it Daymark is to shut it up, literally. Turn off the sound. Block out the windows. Be visible only in a certain kind of unhidden light. No more guidance, no direction. A monument to limited visibility. Not a beacon but an after–effect. An anti–lighthouse house, aDaylightmarkhouse.

When the lights go out, the movie begins, but the painting ends. It cannot be seen in the dark.

#: You lift your flaming stake, and drive it into the Cyclops eye. All imagery that’s left is internal.

A: To shatter the crystallized form of its functional oneness, with a juice–filled “Where Am I?”

#: Daymark.

A: But it does not mean that I chose the day over the night. The night is the subject, the day is the light.

#: Day mark. It has to come secondary?

A: The illusion is episodic.

#: There’s no corner on the lighthouse to piss on, so the dog will piss inside?

A: Mythology on the way up; diary on the way down.

#: You know when it’s wintertime here, the cold air gets trapped downtown and it’s warmer in the hills. It’s called an inversion, and it produces intense sunsets, unnatural magentas and greens. It actually bends the light in the same way as the optical illusions in the deserts – the FataMorgana.

A: I owe a debt to the mirage. I am deliberately taking something transparent and rendering it opaque, a hallucination in a small, enclosed space. The window is a frame, the template of illusion; and whereas Telephone broke it open into a real projection, I am forcing the gaze inside (the structure) and inside (the mind’s eye) (imagine where the horizon leads… back to the flatness of fantasy.)

#: Seeing single, double, quadruple…

A: Octuple.

#: But you can’t have it all. The light is not on your side. Also literally.

I remember someone once postulating that in the middle of a beautiful, cloudless summer day — if you look at the blue sky, and if you look really hard — you can just barely perceive the black void lurking behind a delicate thin blue skin.

A: Painting exists in the light; front–lit or overhead light. Not the light that comes from behind, not the screen. The window.

#: Yes, and “window” means wind eye. The origin is from Old Norse: vindauga. An eye to the wind. The window is clearly conceived as a protecting device against the storms of the world. It might sound poetic, but at the same time it becomes clear that the spectacle offered to the inhabitant is totally secondary to the windless light it lets into the dwelling.

A: I have…yes, exactly.

#: We went to see the monument with no windows.

A: Oslo’s best kept secret.

#: The paintings (your paintings). They’re bags on a belt, whatever the motifs. Embarrassingly x-rayed in full view at the airport.

A: The performance of the painting will answer all my questions.

Bresson preferred to call his actors “models,” because they were not trained and because they were not acting. They were staging his script. They were reflective of the action, the way light ripples across water.

#: Escaping the obvious, never to return?

A: Like something stubborn but fluid, so it becomes more productive, slows down time and avoids the director’s direct direction.

#: Do we agree that twilight steals every colour away (and reveals the…)?

A: It’s 100% pirated.

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About the artist:

Allison Katz (b. 1980, Montreal) lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include “The Parts,” JohanBerggren Gallery, Malmö. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at among others Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; Battat Contemporary, Montreal; Tate Britain, London (paintings for a performance by Tai Shani.)

Link: Allison Katz at 1857

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