Artist Talk: Kyle Tata + Rachel Guardiola
KYLE TATA | SECURE PATTERNS
RACHEL | TRANSMISSION FROM INCOGNITA
In "Secure Patterns", photographer Kyle Tata continues his experimental use of analog photographic processes in a new body of work that explores the use of abstraction as a practical tool to conceal data. Using patterns derived from security tint envelopes — physical devices used to hide sensitive personal information from the human eye — Tata visually “encrypts” individuals in patterns that are applied to film during the photographic process, thereby masking his subjects while simultaneously producing an image. Tata’s in-process photographic manipulations create images that can be read as both photographic documents of reality, and as hallucinatory abstracted constructions. The "Secure Patterns" series investigates the notion that, within an increasingly immaterial culture, personal information can become as valuable as currency.
"Transmission from Terra Incognita" is the installation that resulted from a call and response initiated by artist Rachel Guardiola while she was living in an isolated region of the Arctic. From October 2016 to January 2017, the artist spent an extended period navigating through remote areas of Svalbard, an archipelago of Norway and East Iceland surrounded by icy desert wilderness where frozen strata hold histories of past prehistoric jungles. During this time, Guardiola sent out an email inquiry to a group of individuals of diverse ages, genders and origins, in which she asked them to describe their personal definitions of “Paradise”. "Transmission from Terra Incognita" is Guardiola’s interpretation of the collected responses; her dreamy, intimate and participatory installation makes use of trompe l’oeilphotographs, object arrangements, theatrical lighting and sound to evoke a sensory experience. The public is invited to continue the correspondence with the artist by contributing their own definitions of “Paradise” to her ongoing collection of narratives.
Kyle Tata (b. 1990 Baltimore, MD) holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2015). He is a 2015 Hamiltonian Fellow and a two-time finalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize (2014, 2017). Tata has an extensive local and regional exhibition history, including exhibitions at Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC, 2016, 2015); Area 405, Baltimore, MD (2016); Spudnik Press & Gallery, Chicago, IL (2014); Silvermine Arts Center, New Canaan, CT (2014); The International Print Center, New York, NY (2013), Furthermore Gallery, Washington, DC (2013), and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA (2013). A producer of small scale publications, his artist books are held in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), The International Center for Photography (New York, NY) and the Indie Photobook Library (Washington, DC). He lives and works in Baltimore, MD.
Rachel Guardiola (b. 1985 New York, NY) holds a MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (2015) and BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2007). Guardiola is a 2016 Hamiltonian Fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Women At Work A.I.R. Gallery Summer Residency on Governors Island, NY. Her work has been exhibited in several group and solo presentations including "Light City Baltimore", Baltimore, MD (2016, 2017); School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, MD (2016, 2017); "Making in Transit", Lumen, London, England (2016); "List í ljósi Flat Earth Film Festival", Seyoisfjörour, East Iceland; "KVIT 1 ÅR", Kvit Galleri, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016); "new. now. 2016", Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington D.C. (2016), amongst others. Guardiola was an artist in residence at the Arctic Circle Art & Science Expedition in Svalbard in 2016, HEIMA in East Iceland (2016), Vermont Studio Center (2016), and Atelier de Visu in Marseille, France (2013). She lives and works
Artist Talk: Rives Wiley
In "DIY Laser Eye Surgery", painter and video artist Rives Wiley invites viewers to step inside her perception-altering, handmade interpretation of the internet. Sourcing from digital imagery of lens flares, heavily photoshopped sunsets, snapshots of social gatherings and screen-saver graphics, Wiley immerses her viewers into spaces where reality and their virtual counterparts mirror and mimic one another in an endless feedback loop. At turns playful and anxiety-inducing, Wiley prompts viewers to question the nature of virtual reality and the consider whether life is merely reflected in the digital realm, or if the digital dictates us.
Wiley's skill in blurring boundaries between the physical and the virtual reaches its apex in her trompe l'oeil installation "DIY Laser Eye Surgery". An homage to the cult of YouTube do-it-yourself culture, Wiley's oil-painted diorama employs one-point perspective, video and sculpture to uncanny ends, creating an unsettlingly real-looking screen in which a disembodied voice cheerfully guides viewers through an absurd tutorial on how to use lasers, a razor blade, food coloring and petroleum jelly in order alter one's vision so as to see in digital effects.
Rives Wiley (b. 1990, Alexandria, VA) holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2013). A 2016 Hamiltonian Fellow, her work has been featured in publications including Vice: The Creator's Project, The Huffington Post, Washington City Paper, Dirt DMV, ARte Fuse and Bmore Art. Her work has been exhibited in several group and solo presentations including "Failed Evolution", SPRING/BREAK Art Fair, New York, NY (2017); Satellite Art Fair, Miami Beach, FL (2016); "new. now. 2016", Hamiltonian Gallery, Washington, DC (2016); "Dinner Party Download", Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC (2016) and "Inter/Mission", The Pataphysical Society, Portland, OR (2016). She lives and works in Washington, DC.
Artist Talk: Nancy Daly + Kyle Bauer
In her newest body of work, Nancy Daly gives a series of classic board games an existential twist. Titled "One Must Consider Them Happy", an adaptation of the last line from Albert Camus’s 1942 essay "The Myth of Sisyphus", Daly, with her characteristic dry wit, adapts popular board games that prompt players to find meaning in the enactment of absurd, endless tasks. Co-opting the design of popular board games such as “Risk”, “Life” and “Sorry”, the games address the pitfalls of contemporary life: the cyclical and relentless nature of social media, the (seemingly) futile pursuit of tenure-track academic positions and the fallacies inherent in the United States electoral system. In so doing, Daly uses a playful veneer to cushion a barbed social commentary, revealing uncomfortable and all-too-true realities about contemporary American life. Daly’s games can be played during two game-nights: Thursday, April 13 at 7 pm, and Thursday, May 11 at 7 pm.
Kyle Bauer’s formally rigorous sculptures boast seductively attractive surfaces that alternately conceal or reveal their true nature: plywood and reclaimed objects are placed in seamless conversation with pristine pieces of slip cast porcelain, bright colors, and shiny, reflective surfaces. Bauer’s meticulously crafted pieces, evocative of both mid-century modern furniture and children’s toys via their contrasting textures and colors, captivate the viewer’s attention and brim with a sense of playful exuberance. Paradoxically, the sculptures control the viewer’s eye and command movement through visual cues in a manner akin to the fishing lures, baits, and traps from which they take their inspiration.
Artist Talk: Aschely Vaughan Cone + Magali Hébert-Huot
"A Place in Place of" features large-scale abstract paintings and life-sized sculpture that carry echoes of stories lost to time. Taken together, the vibrant works weave a cryptic yet playful narrative that place the viewer in an interrogative role.
Artist Aschely Vaughan Cone’s monumental, gestural paintings employ a plethora of symbols - archways, shields, dotted lines and woven patterns - that shift in meaning and tone as they repeat throughout her compositions. Cone’s willingness to reveal the rawness of her work’s creation through her paint handling is contrasted with a tendency to suspend definitive meaning, thereby creating a viewing experience in which interpretation and material shift from canvas to canvas.
Drawing from imagery associated with her French-Canadian heritage, Magali Hébert-Huot’s wax, rubber and stucco casts of axe handles and chopped wood approach the weight of remembering a proud history with a playful hand. Hébert-Huot’s use of unexpected, mass-produced materials and ostentatious colors stand in sharp contrast with the objects, which on their own carry associations with tales of struggle and survival in an unforgiving, brutal wilderness. In this way, Hébert-Huot’s sculptures serve as kitschy contemporary mnemonic devices: reminders of a unique ancestral history whose legacy grows increasingly distant with every passing generation.