Eight Takes at Melanie Flood Projects
Eight Takes, a group show at Melanie Flood Projects, features the work of Emily Wobb, John Whitten, Erin Mallea, Lara Kim, Genevieve Goffman, Kello Goeller, Brittney Connelly & Travis Beardsley. The exhibition, housed in the small, light filled space is a window into the practices of Prequel, a small group of artists who have met and critiqued each other’s work every Monday for the past four months. The result is a slick exhibition, using a variety of new media and well crafted installation techniques with absolute confidence.
Each of the works in Eight Takes seems to function under its own abstract taxonomy, a precise set of rules of classification only the artists know in full. For example, the obsessive data crunch of Genevieve Goffman’s Someone Has Died, with its minuscule footnotes dutifully informing an almost endless list of causes of death or John Whitten’s museum-like vitrine, Constellations/Water Rescue, which contains sets of illustrations each paired and carefully rendered under unknown criteria. This attention to data and organization can also be seen in Erin Mallea’s images of palms, which reference (if not explicitly) the plant’s history as a foreign species in Oregon, with the photograph of a book filled with neon notations indicative of some deeper exploration or study.
Throughout the exhibition, there is an order to each object, almost a seeking out of their individual ‘thingness’. In Emily Wobb’s 747 Skin a video shows the artist running a model BMW through a wood chipper, the remains of which are then displayed on the outline of a plexiglass airplane. Lara Kim’s Yoja connects spice filled kimchi jars in an organic web of hair and Brittney Connelly’s photographs are not mounted on the wall, but rest directly on cinder blocks, calling attention to the materiality of their works.
Rounding out the exhibition, Kello Goeller’s animation Bone to Spaceship Transition is not only a video but also an installation in which the viewer sees their own reflection juxtaposed with the physical objects featured in the projection. Perhaps most strikingly, Travis Beardsley digital video BlkHat_EscapeMesh is shown mounted directly to a fabric piece that he manipulates in the animation. The result is a controlled mixing of performance and installation that highlights the physicality of the materials within the work.
Taken as a whole, Eight Takes is a showcase for a group of artists whose influence on each other seems both obvious and hard to pin down. The attention to detail and craft in the works underline a feeling that each gesture has been made with great intention. However, the limited selection of work, combined with the notable lack of didactic information or explicit connections between the artists, ensure that the method behind that intention remains a mystery.