Emerson Dorsch is pleased to present Belle Captive and Lookout Parade, concurrent solo exhibitions by Victoria Fu and Matt Rich. Fu, who works in video, film, and photography and Rich, who creates meticulous constructions of paint and paper, are united in their use of layering techniques. From there, the motivations in these methods of collage divert dramatically: where Rich’s constructed paintings serve as an expressive, yet meditative exercise on the potential of his medium, Fu’s videos and photographs serve as an outward examination of our roles as spectators in the digital age.
In Belle Captive, Victoria Fu’s moving image installations appropriate stock media and narrative cinema to engage in a dialogue on recent paradigm shifts in film and video viewership. In her video installation Belle Captive I, Fu interrupts the picture plane and with it suspension of disbelief. Images are multiplied and layered to disorient the viewers’ sense of space, shifting between the real and representation. Her lush photo collage works exploit the optical effects of light and space to induce a state of honeying through a prismatic disjunction of color and form. They result in a mesmerizing collage, of glowing reds and yellows, that is seemingly familiar and yet wholly abstract.
Matt Rich’s meticulous, painted paper constructions in Lookout Parade present themselves as paintings. Yet the material dynamics, process, and compositional effects employed in the works are inseparable. His thin, brightly-colored, rubbery shapes, are crafted through carefully painted and cut strips of paper joined together by linen tape. They are affixed to the wall at perfect gallery height, though, creased and torn, refuse to rest flat. The works leave the viewer in doubt as to whether the ensuing color fields are hovering in a relatively shallow space. They are punctured occasionally with white, intervening just as form, of its own accord, ceases or withdraws. Like his cut paper paintings, Rich’s small-scale gouache works are process-based, building compositions by layering colors and shapes. One senses that Rich has achieved, in these paintings, a degree of un-self-consciousness so that he does not act, but becomes part of the act that directs him, as much as he directs it.