Off the Grid
March 30–May 4, 2013
Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce Off the Grid, a group exhibition of photographs and other works that detail the often-strange light in which familiar appearances take on, as if rendered as remnants of memory, when bereft of the human presence. Artists in the exhibition include Lewis Baltz, John Divola, Frank Gohlke, Christina Fernandez, Ron Jude, Simone Nieweg, Simon Norfolk, Mark Ruwedel, and Ursula Schulz-Dornburg.
Photographs have their own way of often leaving more questions than answers. More so than other mediums, the simulacrum of the photographic image can cast an otherworldly effect – a sense of being there without actually being present at it. In this regard, these works in the exhibition are neither fully documentary or particularly about the aesthetics of the landscape; they are traces of the chance moments that the artists found, of the unnamed peoples that left them.
Each work in the exhibition portrays its own phantom of the human touch. The seemingly ownerless dogs captured in John Divola’s series, Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert (1996-2001), run as if returned to the state of nature, no longer a product of centuries of domesticity or bearing the moniker of man’s best friend. Lewis Baltz’s image of a bullet-ridden home appliance in Near Reno (1986-87) is deadpan between a remark of the American lust for gun culture and an object rendered by it as an almost sculptural work of accidental ingenuity. In Frank Gohlke’s diptych from the series Aftermath (1979-80), the human gesture is shown at its most procedurally subtle: poles and a signpost bent from a tornado a year before is restored a year later, ostensibly by the invisible hands of bureaucracy. These works, along with the others’ displayed in this exhibition, instructs us that we don’t leave the world necessarily empty as we leave it slightly more poetically estranged.