Claudine Maidique Gallery | NOIR
53 E 1st Street | New York
October 24-31, 2014
This group exhibition—NOIR—explores fragmentation of body, mind, and character, reminiscent of the film noir genre that originated in the 1940s. Common techniques in cinema during this time involved heavy editing that hid or distorted parts of a face or body and played with shadow and light, often obscuring a narrative progression in ways that emphasized moral ambiguity or psychic flaws. In this show, the arrangement of the pieces creates a similarly ominous or confusing mood.
In Josef Zutelgte’s “Monitor-Observe-Witness," the viewer references a map or underground transit system of a foreign city, where the visual complexity heightens a sense of anxiety and alienation. Similarly, Joel Werring’s haunting mixed media piece, “Darlene,” reveals the vulnerability of a child caught in an unwanted situation. Pam Zaremba’s photography depicts a world where figures and the homes they inhabit are clipped or disassociated, rendering a dark and, at times, sexually suggestive tale. Reuben Negron’s “Tracey” does this in a much more overt manner, yet the plot is not entirely clear or expected. Likewise, in "Elektra," Jahmane uses graffiti as a medium to convey a language in which style and symbols are projected on unexpected surfaces that read both as part of the body and yet are hidden from plain sight. Nina Bentley's pieces use sardonic humor to express strong, yet concise, sentiments about social norms on manual typewriters that are likewise obsolete. And Dimitri Dimizas' sculpture, "The Individuals," embodies the darker, inner world of men who appear as a mass in frenetic pace, yet suspended in time.
The psychological and erotic themes that pervade film noir are presented in this collection much like a disjointed dream sequence, a cynical and perverse melodrama. The convergence of amputated parts and a spare palette emphasizes the tone of discomfort and tragedy. Yet, it is only in the context of darkness that light appears, and NOIR, for all of its unhinged desperation, somehow offers the hope of love and redemption.
Special thanks for this inaugural exhibition of Claudine Maidique Gallery:
Dimitri Vlahakis | Ian Alvarez | Bara Restaurant
Dave Holmes | Spiked Seltzer
Igor Zadneprovsky | Gaby Ruiz
Susanna Carillo | Eden Werring
Infinite gratitude to these incredible Artists for their generous and talented spirits:
Nina Bentley, Dimitri Dimizas, Jahmane, Reuben Negron, Pam Zaremba, Joel Werring, Josef Zutelgte