DOPPELGÄNGER PROJECTS PRESENTS: STELLA
67 Russell Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222
May 12 - June 10, 2017
Opening Reception: Friday, May 12, 7:00 - 10:00pm
Rachel Mica Weiss
Sunsets at STELLA in collaboration with Evan Gill Smith
"The only people who see the whole picture,' he murmured, 'are the ones who step out of the frame.’"
- Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet
Doppelgänger Projects is pleased to present STELLA, an ephemeral installation including works by Alexander Barton, Thane Lund, Jess Rees, and Rachel Mica Weiss, and with Sunsets at STELLA programming developed in collaboration with Evan Gill Smith. Produced in a vacated pre-War apartment in Brooklyn, STELLA showcases a group of artists whose work moves beyond the margins into an experiential and experimental format.
Each conscious being privately holds a shadow side, an obscure identity of discarded remnants distilled from the twilight of our consciousness. As Jung once purported, "Our psyche is part of nature and its enigma is as limitless." Archetypal totems course throughout our psychological history, not simply transcending conscious thought, but folded into generations of understanding and comprehension. Our unconscious is a file cabinet of eternal musings, and catalogues the formative memory of our parents and ancestors - a portal through which ancient emblems swim through the dark mass of our elemental knowledge. The cycle and psychology of urban environments are a peculiar and tangible analogy of this concept; not only are they a diverse ecosphere of human behavior and conditioning, but a nebulous fabrication, eternally swaying between settled and shifting. Buildings once erected to house entire families are split and compartmentalized; living quarters are arranged vertically instead of horizontally; more people opt for a nomadic lifestyle, setting up house only to move again as rents rise, the neighborhood changes, our community grows or shrinks, we die. Any small, personal relics left behind are inherited by the new tenants as keepsakes, continuing their purpose in the next generation’s daily rituals. When the souls who inhabit these structures finally step out of frame, their vacancy recalls our own internal hallows as we sift through the strata of time to reveal the schema of our unconscious.
Alexander Barton, Jess Rees, Rachel Mica Weiss, and Thane Lund all work within these contexts, creating a general atmosphere of vulnerability and unease in STELLA. In her wall sculptures, Weiss creates doorways through which we both reflect and fall through, quicksand passageways that lift up our underlying soft spots - sexuality, religion, our tender identities. Barton, working heavily with symbolic collage paintings, hones in on the small medallions scattered throughout our lives that come through these - the visions, the fragments of recognition, the ephemera we subliminally collect. Over the course of several months, Rees has meticulously combed through a stranger’s estate, collecting each shiny and metallic object and obsessively assembling them into prismatic mirror, creating a reciprocal reflection between viewer and former owner.
In composition with the visual aesthetic, there will also be several sound-based components. Sound, being one of the first and most primordial of our senses, can shake viewers from their normal quiet interactions with visual works of art, and call into question an altered experience through the introduction of an additional sensory element. Both Alexander Barton and Thane Lund lean against this, concocting a call and response siren song to lure visitors through the space. Barton’s Theremin sculpture creates a constantly lilting, apprehensive atmosphere, with small amps hidden throughout, changing the sound of the room as spectators move closer or further away from the object. Lund’s sound-sensitive kami installation flares up in a brief flurry of light waves from the room’s restless creaks and echoes. Sunsets at STELLA, in hopes of creating a fully immersive experience, will feature several contributors in both the literary and ambient/experimental music scenes, each quietly performing brief, intimate soundtracks in the space throughout the exhibition - small offerings to the darkened vestry of our subconscious.
Building a portal through a glass darkly, STELLA reflects the disquiet of abandoned spaces and the traces of existence we leave behind in our transience, exposing our primal motivations outside the pretence of social mores, collective ideals, and personal constructs. The exhibition heightens our awareness of the visceral, murky identities that lie beneath the glossy façades of our own manufacture. As these sweet-sharp aspects behind the human condition are revealed, we hope to unearth the eclipsed core of our true selves.