Artist: Liz Craft
Venue: Real Fine Arts, New York
Exhibition Title: Blow Me
Date: May 7 – June 19, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Real Fine Arts, New York. Photos by Joerg Lohse.
Liz Craft uses a creative logic similar to the way our brains dream, layering pieces of life together and setting the rules of language aside. In this way abstraction and narrative can be seen at the same time, informing one another but not adhering to either. The artist likes to subvert meaning and imagery in a formal way, letting their usual roles become less defined and more malleable. The exhibitions title, Blow me is a kind of pun that reflects this. At once a figure of speech but also the suggestion to blow on something, perhaps a candle, as in to blow one out. It emphasizes the possibilities of how the work can be read.
For her first show at Real Fine Arts, Liz Craft has made a new series of speech bubble sculptures that are hung low to the ground, creating a landscape for the viewer and for a life sized marionette of a female figure splitting into two. Six of these wall bound bubbles feature ceramic mushrooms and tiles and some incorporate and are lit by the glow of candle sticks. Recalling the text message box communiques of the popular Apple iPhone, they suggest some kind of dialogue, but the room is silent. Their size and light emitting appearance is reminiscent of campfires, televisions, or cell phones. They also recall other mushroom themed art. In the back left hand corner, two additional bubbles hang above the marionette like clouds. They are installed in a symmetrical formation and bear an overall x!oxo pattern scratched graffito style into ceramic tile.
Sharing this corner is Wendy and Lisa, which hangs from the ceiling with a beguiling two heads, four hands and four feet. Not quite siamese, these twins are maybe just one woman with at least two sides. They wear stoic expressions that could say “fuck you” or “IDC” or “Im feeling empowered.” Behind them, are the two xoxo speech bubbles, which correspond with their faces. Its a conversation that goes something like this: “hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses, hugs and kisses.” “I love you,” this multi-being seems to say to itself. Aptly titled Computer Love 2 and Computer Love 3, the xo’s visualize intimate disclosures that travel like binary code. A message is sent and its surrounded by a sea of penis like mushrooms.
Could the mushroom bubbles be the progeny of such love, spread throughout the gallery like so many fertile spores? Like a group text visualized across an expanse of white walls, the herd becomes visible. While no two are exactly alike, we can tell they are linked. Like the screens that they speak to, these bubbles are lit. Though this is not the techno-glow of our beloved networked appendages, but one that is more archaic, the primal glow of a flame. Like comic book thought bubbles, these can become activated when a viewer is in the space. As if entering a seance in which layered narratives and associations cancel out one read, Crafts installation questions the nature of objects and explores their capacity to confound any singular expression.