VICIOUS FRAMES curated by Lauren Powell features NY-based multimedia artists Claudia Bitran, Lauren Carly Shaw, and Gracelee Lawrence. The show will be on view at Postmasters Gallery from February 1, 2020 to March 7, 2020, with an opening reception taking place from 6-8pm on Saturday, February 1st.
The works in this exhibition take a deep dive into media addiction: one that explores, celebrates and denounces the voracious consuming of others; another that examines and stages the notion of the construction of self; and one that reflects upon the isolation produced by our online existence.
Bitran’s three stop motion animations (one claymation, one drawing animation and one painting animation) are inspired by viral videos of epic fails and chaotic humiliations. Two of them depict anonymous female teenagers in euphoric states of inebriation, while a third one presents animals and babies falling in slow motion. The rendering, pacing, and gestures of the various materialities emphasize the instability of the characters as they lose control over their vomiting, falling bodies. Bitran proposes a nuanced, deeper and expressive perspective of these over-shared videos, by exploring trauma, humor and cruelty.
Shaw’s I, Me, Mine exhibits a female version of Narcissus that is lounging in a surreal hand-crafted diorama while pointing at herself. The subtly animated character can only be seen by the viewer through the screen of an iPad, presenting two simultaneous realities that investigate prevalent social obsessions with vanity: one tangible, one virtual. In both instances, she is surrounded by a number of humanoid objects and busts that gaze eternally at themselves and at their doppelgängers.
Lawrence’s sculptures, relying equally on digital fabrication and hand augmentation, examine the relationship between food, the body, and technology at an exaggerated scale. A physical origin point is isolated and translated to digital space, often influenced by what is found in our ever more real and familiar internet world. As the barriers between digital and physical spaces dissolve, our perception of reality also shifts, and the compartmentalization encouraged in digital space leads to a new world less and less concerned with the human touch, yet Lawrence’s work dips into both territories with equal aplomb.
Not without humor nor skepticism, each artist presents pieces that confront our current reality, one driven by the insidious power of social media and our contemporary narcissism. For Bitran, the frame becomes a vessel of tragedy, for Shaw an addictive ego-system, and for Lawrence, an isolated ‘experienced’ existence void of physical sensations. VICIOUS FRAMES highlights the habits and addictions that affect our online activity, offering a deeper look into our collective alienation.