Jill Baroff, Tim Bavington, Ingrid Calame, Beth Campbell, Rutherford Chang, Janet Cohen, Jacob El Hanani, Elena del Rivero, Tom Friedman, Mark Lombardi, Stefana McClure, Mimi Moncier, David Opdyke, Danica Phelps, Nicolas Rule, Fidel Sclavo, John Sparagana, Type A
"Information is a lover that doesn’t speak our language, a lover we visit every day with no hope to touch, explain or understand.” (Witold Gombrowicz)
Josee Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Dating Data, an exhibition of works on paper by 18 artists. Reality cannot be avoided but watching an infinite sequence of simultaneous, precise and live news reports is not enough to understand the difference between live broadcasting and death, between business and democracy. The artists included in Dating Data address our ambivalent fascination with information culture. They manipulate and process various kinds of data to produce works that confirm that we are condemned to know more and understand less.
Mark Lombardi’s monumental flowchart drawings trace the often circuitous yet intersecting flows of legal and illicit capital, revealing the implications of clandestine plots and the sublime beauty of global corruption. Also devising his own conspiracy theories, invoking the popular use of well-known symbols, such as the American Flag and corporate logos, David Opdyke explores these signs recursive ability to fold into one another as quasi-magical emblems of a fascinating, largely unlocatable power.
Ingrid Calame traces the contours of stains she finds on the streets of New York and Los Angeles. She captures flows of “liquid assets”. Her multilayered topographies on Mylar map the street’s vocabulary, spoken in fleeting, liquid residue. In her Tide Drawings, Jill Baroff meticulously registers the repercussions of waves and turns them into micrographs. Tim Bavington’s stripe drawings are color visualizations of music's passage through time. Mimi Moncier also reorders visual experience in terms of color dominance as in her This Year’s Shoes watercolors.
Beth Campbell makes art out of the way we think. In her My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances series of drawings she connects autobiographical events, thinks them through and gets to the bottom of her thoughts through parallel chains of circumstances. Danica Phelps’s generation drawings document every financial transaction in her life. Nicolas Rule’s genealogical charts track major bloodlines of current American horse champions with particular attention to inbreeding.
Type A, the collaborative team of Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin produces works that explore masculinity and physicality through various competitive games. In Push, they take turns standing and shoving each other. The pusher’s steps and the pushee’s landing are outlined and systematically numbered in sequence. Using the terminology of scorecard notation Janet Cohen dissects and re-configures baseball games into drawings of clustered marks.
The artists in Dating Data set up various processes of recording, fragmenting and obliterating information. Stefana McClure and Fidel Sclavo condense text and typeface to the point of near illegibility. Jacob El Hanani’s drawings, based on the phone book, also display inaccessible data. Elena del Rivero’s Letter from the Bride is made of clothing labels where the word “medium” is repeated throughout the page. Tom Friedman’s Secrets is a letter made of infinitesimal words -- things barely heard or said and totally impossible to read. Down is an alphabetized list of words with negative connotations taken from the dictionary. Rutherford Chang cuts out every word in the New York Times and rearranges them in alphabetical order, turning daily news into abstraction. John Sparagana "distresses" photo spreads he finds in fashion magazines, rolling and creasing them until the once-glossy pages become so thin that the image almost evaporates.