DCKT Contemporary is pleased to present Zoe Crosher’s The Unraveling of Michelle duBois, a reconsidered archive culled from crates, boxes and albums consisting of endless flirtatious smiles, tourist shots, cheesecake mementos and suggestive poses in every film type and size.
It is simply an archive. But nothing is ever simple. Michelle duBois, one of a number of aliases, kept a lot of pictures of herself. Turning tricks in the Pacific Rim during the ‘70s, she took on many guises for her particular profession and kept fanatical documentation of her many dramatic transformations. Until one day, she didn’t. Time passes, things fall apart, and the photographs record its circuitous and histrionic conclusion.
duBois adopted Crosher and bequeathed to her the dubious legacy of this archive. Crosher has gotten lost in this archive. But an archive by itself, like an artwork by itself, is a static notion, a thing activated only when it is being handled, witnessed, experienced. And Crosher, the artist with a vaguely similar appearance, is making pictures. In this instance of duBois’s images, but pictures nonetheless. Pictures of pictures. Of obfuscated faces, of repeated shadows in dark black & white doorways, of tiger prints and arched backs, of backs of backs of photographs and backs of necks, of eyes and mirrors and reflections, of notes taken and rewritten, scanned and scratched, kept and held and returned – all of which are coming undone in various shades of magenta and yellow and cyan. The photographic archive itself is dissolving, the pictures are fading, new surfaces are showing through. The two archives are collapsing into each other, conflating the history of the reordering of the unraveling and the unraveling itself.
Their material, the photograph as a thing, is itself ending. Framed and reframed, duBois’s Asianesque escapsim viewed through the lens of Crosher’s transience obsessions provoke our own fantasies, encapsulating an imagined amateur history. One that is almost gone, never to be discovered or, as in this case, bequeathed ever again. Except here, momentarily halting the process for another peek, coyly giving us something vibrant to see.
Crosher holds a MFA in Photography & Integrated Media Cal Arts (Valencia, CA). She lives and works Los Angeles. In 2008 her solo exhibition The Reconsidered Archive of Michelle du Bois was shown at the Claremont Museum of Art (CA). She was included in the recent group exhibition Suddenly: Where We Live Now at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College (Portland, OR) and the Pomona College Museum of Art, (CA). Her work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This is her third solo exhibition with DCKT Contemporary.