Reorientation II

Exhibit dates: September 7-22, 2007

Opening reception: September 7, 2018

“Reorientation,” is an bi-annual exhibition highlighting the work that is being made in Redux and/or by Redux artists. During the opening from 5:30-8:30pm, Redux held an open studio session so that viewers could wander through all of the Redux studios both public and private. For this show, Redux invited curator Lori Kornegay, visiting Assistant Professor in the Arts Management Program at the College of Charleston, who had just returned from a year long stay in Tokyo, Japan to select the work and direct the show. Below is an excerpt about the exhibition from Kornegay.

“Most kinds of reorientation require movement or progress from an initial fixed point. In the work selected for this show, “the past” – not in terms of factual history, but instead a retro image of the way things used to be as seen through 21st century eyes – functions as the initial reference. Commonplace subject matter like a shoe, a coffee cup, a for sale sign, a house, and an old photo seem, at first glance, mundane and almost quaint in the high tech, fast-paced, anxious age we find ourselves in today, but the artists in Reorientation manage to infuse the ordinary with a fresh complexity, offering unique perspectives that link the past with present.

A jumping off point for several of the artists in the show is subject matter that suggests an earlier time and the process of looking back. Mary Walker’s prints, inspired by vintage photos from a family album, have the elusive, yet familiar feeling of an old film still etched in the mind or the memory of a dream where the faces are blurred. Their generic nostalgia crystallizes simple moments, making them seem universal. Mud – the finest substance known to kids – is the medium in Kevin Hoth’s photos and it is impossible to look at these without remembering how good it feels to get messy playing in dirt. Repetition and the recycling of images from vintage women’s magazines creates the hip, what’s-old-is-new-again look of Dorothy Netherland’s work and gets one thinking about how much women’s roles have or have not changed through the years.Colleen Terrell Comer’s deconstructed houses subtly suggest, through formal, linear means, the hidden history of a neighborhood and the way a sense of place resonates far beyond physical walls. This is especially apt in a place like Charleston where the social tension between the past and present, ironically, may be most obvious not in the people, but in the built environment.

As in Comer’s work, other pieces in the show employed specific formal methods to find new angles. Erik Johnson’s inventive three-dimensional line drawings that included an old-fashioned shoe, a fire hydrant, and a rooster, start with mundane objects, flattened and simplified. Paradoxically, the artist then pulled new life and meaning back out in a magical reversal, endowing line with unexpected depth and form. Through manipulation of scale, Townsend Davison found the perfect mechanism for creating sly commentary with ordinary objects. In Real Estate, he managed to conjure content that referenced Charleston’s past and present, as well as suggesting a more universal reading related to the tension created when outsiders loom on the horizon and that anything is up for grabs if the price is right. Jonathan Brilliant’s sculpture perhaps paid homage to Jasper John’s playful and ironic mid-century Ballentine Ale cans, but in this case the ubiquitous coffee cup was the object of interest. Repetition, along with the polished cast aluminum surface and intentionally anachronistic look and technique reinforced Brilliant’s focus on the formal elements of the work.”

Artists Included: Townsend Davidson, Colleen Terrell Comer,  Jonathan Brilliant, Mary Walker, Kevin Hoth, Dorothy Netherland, and Erik Johnson