Counter Nature 2, 2010
Toomey Tourell Fine Art
San Francisco, CA
October 1 - October 31, 2010
Landscape images, in packaging the experience of nature, deactivate our looking and respond to our anticipated experience of the landscape as an image. Following the notion of landscape as a culturally determined designation, the viewer is asked to take part in the reconstruction of these landscapes in an indeterminate space, where both the elements of the landscape and picture plane itself are in play, simultaneously projecting toward and receding away from the viewer. In Counter Nature and Counter Nature 2, the motion nascent in the landscape images of Niagara National Park, Hanauma Bay, and Half Moon Bay becomes emphatic through a method of painting that intensifies the experience of perception. The paint is meticulously layered and stenciled to produce an interplay of edges, details, and gestures executed in reverse on sheets of polycarbonate or on the surfaces acrylic cubes, breaking apart the visual hierarchy of the landscape into a multiplicity of possible areas of focus. One series is arranged on wall-mounted shelves, recontextualizing the experience of the landscape image as a kind of collectable object. Whether finalized behind polycarbonate or turning the corner of a cube, painterly gestures take on a conceptual rather than emotive reading. The effect produced demonstrates the need to renegotiate the speed of consumption of the landscape image. Instead of performing the looking for the viewer, this work seeks to embody a kind of traveling through perception, creating landscapes for the inertial tourist.
Accompanying this exhibition is a series of photographs transferred onto small acrylic cubes. Each set of cubes consist of four cubes that feature the same landscape image wrapped around the four sides of each cube; the set of cubes is then arranged either in a line or a cluster. The sets invert the panoramic view to express both the infinitely divisible and discrete nature of the reproducible image and the cadence produced by the cropping and cornering of the image into separate planes of event.