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Ellen Lesperance and Jeanine Oleson, Off the Grid

Monya Rowe Gallery
504 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, 212-255-5065
September 6 - October 8, 2005
Reception: Thursday, September 8, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The first New York solo exhibition of collaborative photography works by Ellen Lesperance and Jeanine Oleson.

Shot in various locations such as Washington, Oregon and New Mexico, the artists set up fantastical open-ended scenarios in a natural landscape where, as the subjects of the photograph, they appear to be the only persons in existence.

During these “performances,” there is a tension between an intuitive, earnest intent and a self-conscious humor of society while also being firmly rooted within it. In Summer XI (Off the Grid) 2005, an out-of-frame device creates the startling illusion of a stream of blood flowing from the sky above; the imagery combines the magical with a subsequent humor about our limited cultural parameters and a longing for an intangible experience of the metaphysical.

Inspired by cultural politics, feminism, film theory, popular culture, revisionist history and ethnography, the content of the work celebrates things commonly associated with the derogatory while simultaneously evoking a sense of longing to escape contemporary life. In Bigfoot & Nioka IV (Off the Grid) 2005, the central character – “Bigfoot”, a creature that is unproven to exist – stands as a sincere and ironic measure of pre-modern fantasy and self-criticism.

Ellen Lesperance and Jeanine Oleson have recently exhibited their work at Pump House Gallery, London, Bates College Museum of Art, Maine, Samson Projects, Massachusetts, Monya Rowe and many others. Ellen Lesperance received a BFA from The University of Washington, Seattle and a MFA from Rutgers University, New Jersey. Jeanine Oleson received a BFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a MFA from Rutgers University. Both artists currently reside in Brooklyn.
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