Jacques Louis Vidal "You are What You Look At"

Marc Jancou Contemporary

This event has ended.

You are What You Look At presents a series of new collages, sculptures, and architectural fragments which together propose a willful confabulation of the artist's true personal history, narratives, beliefs, and emotions culled from a selection of media sources. The varied source materials (a black nationalist magazine, an infomercial on transparency, and stills from a crime TV show, amongst others) come packaged with equally varied ideals, and while these are acknowledged in their transformation, this may be beside the point. Vidal has endeavored to create what he calls a "self-thing synthesis" by creating rooms, or "isolation klosets," which are meant to force him to focus on these things, and vice versa. The traditional transformative relationship with which artists engage their chosen materials is here evoked specifically for it's often ignored reciprocal nature.

These source materials have been scanned, photographed, re-scanned, layered, and then cut away, creating topographical "reassemblages" in which images recede and advance in intricate ways. The collages were constructed inside the "isolation klosets," each thematically or ergonomically designed to hone in on particular facets of each subject. This time spent alone with these sources appears to have produced a private, if not irreconcilable world. Each "isolation kloset" is here represented as a cut fragment, a dramatic consolidation of Vidal's experiences.

The final element of this process is a group of metal and wood sculptures, which might function as a model of the artist in an arrested state of transformation vis-a-vis the subject. They complete the tautology of the whole endeavor, as a tangible witness to the process of making and looking, and then remaking with new information. Anthropomorphic in form, the sculpted wood components of the sculptures are made from layered plywood that seem to grow around, or take over their found metal counterparts, similar to the way in which a tree will grow around a fence in order to thrive. The artist emphasizes this relationship in that "they're both stuck there…one growing towards the other, only light makes that plant grow, thus it is literally seeing towards it, it can't help it." The synthesis of these materials allegorizes the artist's connection with the structures around him. Formally, Vidal builds up a surface, or structure, in an attempt to defamiliarize seemingly concrete subject-object relations while still preserving something of their origins. These are carved and eroded to the point where the original form is scattered. What develops is a sturdy reconstruction of each idea, as believable as the original, yet infused with the delicacy of the inescapable subjective nature of personal experience.



from November 04, 2009 to December 19, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-11-04 from 18:00 to 20:00

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