LANDSCAPE; OR THE MODERN EPIMETHEUS
for CONCEPTUALIZING THE BODY: GAZE, MASQUERADE AND SPECTACLE
at AMELIE A. WALLACE GALLERY, SUNY COLLEGE at OLD WESTBURY, OLD WESTBURY, NY 2011
site-specific painting, install, performance
curated by Hyewon Yi
photos by Hyewon Yi
Foresight as Prometheus:
By placing myself behind a sheet of Plexiglas I hope to explore meanings and conceptions of performance versus painting. Paint will be moved across the transparent canvas with gestural movements, applied by the body. I plan to begin with the clear surface covered in white, "blank." Little by little more paint and color will be added, removed, dripped, pressed or flung across, eaten... Compositions will change during the three hours I project to create and will be dictated as I view it from my reversed perspective.
…German for reverse glass painting, is a process and technique that reverses the gaze of the artist from that of the viewer. Thus, perhaps the viewer has the advantage vantage possessing both the perspective of process and artistic intent simultaneously. Figure and landscape combine within an abstract communication of the artist's mind only visible by the viewer. Where then is the fixed view point; the intent or expression; is the composition void or complete with harmony; is it possible for multiple pieces to exist simultaneously as paint seems to pull itself across the canvas as a through-the-looking-glass strip tease?
Am I as figure within the frame painter or performer or the painting itself? Willem de Kooning said "the landscape is in the Woman and there is Woman in the landscape." At moments my own figure may be more apparent and "incorporated" into the canvas. I'm interested in observing (or perhaps, rather, viewers observing) whether lines blur between definitions of performance, painting as object, landscape, portrait, or abstraction.
Hindsight as Epimetheus:
Prometheus in Greek mythology is credited with providing mortals with the knowledge of fire defiant to the wishes of the gods. Prometheus thus passed along his own "foresight" to mortals, imperative for advancement in thought and engineering. As well, Frankenstein granted life to his monster and like Prometheus was tortured since-forth for his actions. Epimetheus, however (representing "afterthought"), provides a balance by observing current conditions without thought. Epimetheus shares the knowledge of dependency upon one another. This was Frankenstein's downfall and so his creation's downfall as well; he provided no acceptance, relationship or nurturing to his creation even after its incessant howling cries for attention.
" 'You are my creator, but I am your master; -obey!' "
-from Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
-Aaron Sheppard original project statement 2011