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Art Mon Sep 20 2010
I went around to a bunch of gallery openings the Friday before last and have been stewing on what I saw since then. The work I keep going back to is Joey Fauerso's installation in Gallery 2 at Western Exhibitions. First of all, the videos are funny. LOL funny. But what made me stick around after the initial giggles was the awkward sexual desperation Fauerso was able to express with this work. There is something very human about it. Or maybe animal. Either way, this work seems to have a heartbeat.
The exhibition, titled Act Natural, occupies the side gallery at Western Exhibitions-- a room the size of a small bedroom. The installation consists of two videos and a few figurative watercolors on paper that explore a grey area between fantasy and reality. "Clearing", a three-minute video, superimposes live figures over antique wallpaper depicting a forested grove. Fauerso plays a flute in this forest, seducing a young naked man with the tune as he twirls around until he collapses, while flocks of animated birds fly overhead. In a refreshing feministic twist, Fauerso has reversed traditional roles, depicting the man as both vulnerable and erotic. The result is a delightful mix of sexy and slightly pathetic. I can tell you, as a woman, I'm totally feeling this one.
In the other video, "Me Time", Fauerso coos at and kisses a series of puppets, including a fire fighter, a policeman and a construction worker, attempting to make as "real" a connection as possible with the ridiculous-looking puppets. In addition to the obvious tinge of absurdity in this, the video is suprisingly sad and sweet. This pool girl appears to really care for these puppets, but what can they give her? Nothing, for they are merely man-made representations of real people. The conceptual implications here are complicated and seemingly endless, so I won't get any further into them right now. Anyway, analyzing this particular piece any further just seems wrong.
The watercolor paintings are charming as well-- delicate and beautifully executed. The tryptich portrays nude or partially-dressed indiviuals being subsumed or otherwise effected by implied atmospheric forces and blocks of paint. Much in the way that Warner Bros played with artistic representation by showing the animator's hand erasing Daffy Duck's beak, by way of the delicate but deliberate, textural application of the paint, the figures appear to be effected by the very paint strokes they are made of. This, in turn, carries on the theme of illusion-- a theme bridging all her work.
The playful Ben Stone sculptures in the main gallery flirt with similar concepts and are certainly worth a look as well. Stop by Western Exhibitions anytime between now and October 9 to see this outstanding show.