Francis Bacon once said that human understanding is like a false mirror, whereby each new encounter is colored by, and understood through, our past experiences. St. Louis, for one, is a landscape held in the collective imagination, less by our understanding of its present condition, but rather through the lens of its history—from its turn-of-the-century heyday to its postmodern decline. This exhibition features three artists who urge us to resist this false mirror and instead, to compel an immediate, direct, and intimate encounter with the present. Raha Raissnia’s Lapsus slips between surfaces in an ever-shifting infusion of recognizable and abstract forms that that are at once temporary and enduring. Claire Evans’ Digital Decay—as it animates the process of saving an image file in incrementally lower file formats hundreds of times—explores the line between the cold rationality of the digital world and the mutability and unpredictability of human nature. Alongside, Gemma Pardo juxtaposes two interrelated videos in Temperature, magnifying the opposition between the carefully registered process of control and the inability to master bodily transformation.
Claire Evans & Gemma Pardo & Raha Raissnia: Engaging the False Mirror is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Gilian Rappaport, Independent Curator.