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"DISCOurse #1: Pinup" by Bradley Wester at Yellow Peril

Bradley Wester’s newest body of work, a hybrid-practice that combines painting, drawing, sculpture and digital imaging into larger works and installations with unique reference to color and light and to physical space, opens at Yellow Peril on April 24th.

Providence, RI, March 18, 2014 --( Yellow Peril Gallery is pleased to present “DISCOurse #1: Pinup,” Bradley Wester’s newest body of work, a hybrid-practice that combines painting, drawing, sculpture and digital imaging into larger works and installations with unique reference to color and light and to physical space, opening Thursday, April 24 2014. The opening reception is Saturday, April 26 from 6PM – 9PM.

In a mirror queerness can hide. Even with the advantage of a rear view, queer’s reflection may not necessarily appear queer. Unlike the way skin color, for example, is always revealed. What the ‘straight’ mirror makes visible then is the surface of things in the here and now; it reflects-confirms what we already know, or think we know in the present: “straight time.”

The spinning mirror disco ball creates a fractured, multiplicity of moving reflections in the round that are then scattered onto limitless chance surfaces—dizzying, exotic, ‘queer’ mirror, a pixelated globe. It reflects what it sees behind, in front, up, down, all around, even what we can’t see, breaking that into fragments with borders that are re-contoured by the surface-shape it’s reflected upon. Here, even a straight reflection is made queer.

It is in the interstices of society, the spaces in-between, androgynous spaces, where potentiality lies. The site of DISCOurse, like all cross-border economies, is where ideas and materials are hybridized and repurposed, where culture, commerce, and the imagination anticipate a future diverse: “queer time.”

This body of work entitled DISCOurse, uses custom made reflective Mylar pegboard as the conductive substrate for other materials and objects such as smaller paintings, disco balls, digital prints, found photos, holographic tape, tube lights, pipe cleaners, leather, and chain to be attached and arranged. The evenly perforated panels are like large computer motherboards each with a unique ‘form factor’ by which the connected components or circuits communicate. Mirrored, the mother-pegboard makes all external reflections components too. The reflected images appear to be rasterized into a bitmap of 1’s and 0’s when the formal grid of pegboard holes acts as a dot matrix inside the image. So one’s reflection becomes part of the piece, made further corrupt as it is interpolated into the other layers of the work. One such layer that often appears on the surface of these panels are images of digital glitches—failed images of pure pixilation, referring to both the pegboard and the mirrored disco balls as analogue pre-digital rendering devices.

Each piece performs like the mirror in a single-lens reflex camera, or a micro view of a silver gelatin print, expanding new directions in photography. And in painting: Re-imagined in the age of information and digital reproduction, painting is liberated here not just from the static pictorial field of the canvas-container, but also from ever having to complete itself. Here the work contains, and therefore is contingent with, whatever is in front of it—the viewer, other works nearby, the room itself. The total picture, if you will, can only be formalized in live time, moving through space, only to change again, forever precarious.

This work relies on a ‘process-as-knowing’ methodology. Knowledge and invention is contingent on the properties of the materials used and how they act when acted upon by various processes and relational configurations. Materials are often cheap, quotidian; some processes simple, transparent. Both are meant as an everyday means to more complex information-age conditions, modes and paradigms, such as: precarity, reflexivity, contingency, immateriality, hybridity, heterogeneity, failure/glitch, repurpose/hacking. But the work stands against literal explication of these contemporary ideas, as they are decidedly aestheticized. DISCOurse is emphatic that art lie between the space of “knowledge production” and not-knowing—proto knowledge. It also refuses a critical discursive of the present that takes the form of complaint or condescension. DISCOurse imagines, in the here and now, a (queer) utopian futurity that is diverse, optimistic, joyous and fun—it puts the disco back into critical discourse.

The opening reception for “DISCOurse” is Saturday, April 26, from 6PM – 9PM. The exhibition will be on display from Thursday, April 20 until Sunday, June 1, 2014. The closing reception is Saturday, May 31, from 6PM – 9PM. This is Wester’s first solo exhibition at Yellow Peril Gallery.
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Yellow Peril Gallery
Vanphouthon Souvannasane

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