VisitorMarch 19, 1999
VISITOR, curated by Lauren Ross
Often the places designed for our very comfort cause the greatest uneasiness, while the commonplace is the most strange. Supposedly innocuous places are inhospitable and alienating. This group exhibition examines the experience of being in a location that, even when recognizable, is unknowable. The public and private spaces portrayed may appear initially familiar and invite personal associations, but are not so readily entered; they are made hermetic, cold, and ultimately inaccessible. Figures are never depicted in these haunting places, turning the viewer into the lone visitor to the site.
Lena Gieseke photographs the interiors of empty hotel rooms, glimpsing into standardized spaces where intimate moments are played out; Amanda Alic presents video stills from “The Town of My Dreams is Already Crowded,” a series of images with subtly implied narrative and an aura of suspense; Rob de Mar sculpts miniature islands in fantastical shapes and colors, populated by tiny roads, houses and delicate landscaping; Roe Ethridge’s series “The Neutral Territory” studies the indeterminate islands that serve as dividers on roads, highways and ramps; Peter Gould explores the exteriors of fast-food restaurants in photographs and sculpture; Evie McKenna photographs geometrically ordered houses, barns, post offices and storage structures in rural areas; Frank Webster studies suburban existence with detached views of mini-marts and storage facilities painted in pastel colors.