The Glass Delusion (2011)
The Glass Delusion
Charest - Weinberg Gallery, Miami (March 2011)
There is a legend that after Buddha died, his shadow lingered in a cave.
It actually is possible for a shadow to persist without any sustaining object. Light travels at 300 million meters per second in a vacuum, and the moon is about 385 million meters away from Earth. Hence, if the moon were instantly obliterated during a solar eclipse, its shadow would linger for more than a second on the surface of Earth. If the moon were farther away, its shadow could last several minutes.
We can extrapolate to posthumous shadows that postdate their objects by millions of years. We can also speculate about an infinite past in which a shadow is sustained by a beginningless sequence of objects. As one object is destroyed, an object of the same shape and size seamlessly replaces it. This shadow antedates any object in the sequence and so refutes the principle that every shadow is caused by an object. Shadows are not dedicated dependents. Although slaves to some object or other, they can switch masters. - Roy Sorensen, Seeing Dark Things
Excerpt from a Q&A with Charest-Weinberg Gallery for the exhibition catalogue:
CW: Let"s fast forward to the new work in The Glass Delusion; which is currently installed at my gallery. Can you talk about the premise for the project?
JE: About two years ago, I moved into a new studio space in Los Angeles. A few months in, I decided to remove a built-in shelf that was eating up useful space. As I removed the shelf, the drywall behind it was old and rotting and it quickly started to crumble apart, revealing the studs and wall behind it. To my surprise, drawn on the wall was a beautiful and quite enigmatic drawing. At first, I just thought that it was a plumbing or electrical diagram, but as I pulled down more of the rotting drywall, more drawings appeared and these had figurative elements (an eye and a head) incorporated into the abstract linear diagram. I knew immediately that these diagrams could be the source material for a future project.
CW: So the exhibition The Glass Delusion, currently installed in the gallery, is based specifically on one of those found diagrams. Can you elaborate on the relationship between the objects in the gallery and that diagram?
JE: Yes, the central object, Open Source, is a reconstitution of base elements present in the original discovery. So it is like taking all the matter and information from the discovery and breaking it down to its component particles, mixing these elements and then reconstituting them into a second-generation object descended from the original source...similar to the way that DNA or genetic traits are passed through generations.
In the case of Open Source, the mixture includes the material and visual information of the wood framing from the wall that the original found diagrams were on (including the diagram pattern illustrated in the found drawing), the deep black color of the wall, and a cyan and magenta paint drip that was also found on the wall.
This facsimile object, at the center of the exhibition, refers to a lens or a vector where the information is absorbed, filtered and dispersed outward.
CW: and the plexiglass objects, how do they function?
JE: Those six objects, titled Mirage Artifacts, are related to that central sculpture as dispersed objects. Each represents the resulting atomized data exploded out from this lens/vector structure Open Source, whereby the plexiglass carries with it information from the original found diagram embedded into their design.
Within each of the Mirage Artifacts, the linear pattern of the found drawing is used as a footprint to determine the translucent plastic's three-dimensional shape. The original found drawing had three distinct types of lines, each of which I extracted and isolated from the other two. By layering them in different orders and intuitively building out three dimensionally from those patterns, each of the six Mirage Artifacts, has a unique form. But if you look through the form, the translucency of the object allows you to still see the original pattern of the found drawing; though now splintered and discharged in three dimensions.
CW: You also use mirrored plexiglass and its reflections as part of the installation; can you speak about those choices?
JE: I wanted the objects to register as close to virtual as possible - the mirror added to that disembodied essence by creating a sense of weightlessness or a loss of mass. And, naturally, the immaterial reflection cast by the plexiglass itself necessarily expanded the object into a virtual plane. So visually, sections of the total composition were actual - and the others not.
Also, the reflective effect of the gallery’s directional lights bouncing of the mirror and through the plexiglass forms created another interesting layer of translation. The found drawing’s original pattern was again processing through another vector and exploding onto the gallery walls, further mapping the circulation of this discrete bit of information as it continues its endless dispersal through time and matter.