The Reach of Realism

@ MOCA North Miami

Gillian Wearing

The Reach of Realism brings together an international group of artists, that share an awareness of the synthesis of daily life and popular media.

Living in a time where we are constantly re-evaluating what is real, our daily experiences involve bits and pieces of information, from web sites or media, often presented out of context and with no evidence of truth. Olaf Breuning finds the humor in this as he creates an arbitrary family in a collage of arbitrary photos.

Digital c-prints are the overwhelming media of choice for the majority of artist in this exhibition. Thomas Demand’s, large scale photos, begin with detailed replicas of architectural spaces, constructed with the aid of his team. He then photographs the model, labels it with a generic title, and displays it behind reflective plexiglass. In Badezimmer [Bathroom] 1997.  Demand, references, a famous photo, of a Geneva hotel room, in which conservative politician, Uwe Barschel allegedly, committed suicide. The image is devoid of any human presence or details of the original photo, confirming no more to the viewer, than a set design.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Large black and white photographs of photocopied images, explore transformations that occur in the uneven values and dot pigments used to describe figures in a landscape setting.  When framed and displayed on the wall these ghost like image takes on a physical presence.

In “Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say Gillian Wearing takes our personal status to the streets of London, by asking complete strangers to write what ever they want, onto a uniform blank sheet of paper. The resulting large format framed images, draws the viewer, into someone else’s reality for a brief moment.

Wilhelm Sasnal asks the viewer to discern time and place in three emotionally detached, works in oil,  while Adam McEwen, questions perceptions of reality in “Switch” (version) 2009. Rows of machined graphite light fixtures hang from the ceiling, yet were never meant to illume.

In “God” 2007  artist  Ragnar Kjartansson,  known for his endurance testing performances that have stretched over days or weeks like the never-ending days and nights of his native Iceland, sets the stage, for his video, by enveloping the room with red silk curtains, and then luring you into a trance as he performs the same fragment of a song over and over as if it will become more real if repeated.

Unconcerned with realism in the traditional sense, this eclectic group of artists are committed to creating their own subjective truths, and curator Ruba Katrib shows us that even the most incongruous things can be connected.

___Jami Nix Rahn