Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 22 - Helen Chung

The series of sculptures designated for wall space, titled, “BLIND SPOT”, came from my visual interpretation of the term and title, the FOLD (from Deleuze’s essay on Foucault and Liebniz) in my desire to examine possibilities within the materiality of a thin sheet of metal and paper; the two flat malleable materials that are three dimensional objects, but commonly referred to as two dimensional only for these objects’ sides being negligibly thin.
 This new body of work is informed by my earlier work, the paper bag sculptures of 2015, where I deconstructed shopping bags/containers to address the ambiguity of the interchangeable subjectivity from inside to outside, with shapes cut and folded (not extracted), twisted inside out, and inversely, blurring the notions of separations we continuously make, although subconsciously, of these opposites, front and back, inside out, right and wrong sides, etc.
 Although Deleuze's definition of the Fold had very little to do with physical forms we perceive; (The Fold as man in relation to himself, the Fold of time, The Fold as in self mastery, etc.), taking his phrase out of context, “Inside is nothing more than the fold of the outside” gave me a new perspective from which to talk about the sculpture as a painting; utilizing all three sides (including the thin space in between front and back) that we habitually reduce as a two dimensional object;  this inclusion/ inverting the order of front and back also lead me to realize that back is just the back of the front, as is the front also the back of the back, depending on where you are standing.
 The raw materials (in its “2D” forms) are painted first, front and back. Then the random marks are made to either guide shapes to be cut, or to be reconfigured once cut into shapes, folded, and inverted; The possibilities explored are guided by a set of simple rules, a) not eliminating a section while the cuts are made to rearrange itself, and b)not adding another material to the process, therefore using its own body to sculpt itself. This in a sense responds to Deleuze’s fold as “the name for one’s relation to oneself”.
 The part 2 of the installation, the paintings are still life images of the sculptures (not necessarily in the show- but from the same body of work) to extend the discussion further with the notion of what is seen and what is hidden often in a still life. The painted images of the sculptures are taken from more than one view so to included sides or the insides that aren’t shown from one view unless pivoted or turned around or turned upside down. It provided me the multiple interpretations of a single object that I was looking for, specially for the objects themselves having sides that were exposing the interiors of the objects.
The object was to include the blind spots in what we normally observe or perceive which sometimes are the sides of the objects, and the backs and most often the inside of the objects.