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Jacob Dyrenforth: The Yearn


Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
March 23 - April 22, 2006
Reception: Thursday, March 23, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Dyrenforth will present a series of works-in sculpture, drawing, prints, video and sound-that explore the aesthetics of self-actualization: fanaticism, liberation and performance figure prominently in a landscape of props and surrogates that deconstruct the desire for “pure experience.”

Posters of rock and roll icons, culled from the artist’s copious personal archive, are affixed to the gallery wall with gaffer’s tape. An amateur sociologist with a revisionist agenda, Dyrenforth has skewed the images with his own special effects—smoke, migrating locks of hair and coy blasts of celestial light have been added, surreptitiously muting his subjects in their most celebrated poses.

Dyrenforth’s drawings-of a SYNANON poster and a shrouded member of the ill-fated Heaven’s Gate cult-echo the sly disruption of the posters while mining the fetishized fringe of counter-cultural iconography. Executed through a precise, mechanized process of mark making devoid of gesture, Dyrenforth sources images from archival reproductions and staged re-enactments, in both instances foregrounding the means of their dispersion: Jpeg resing and magnified interpolation blur the lines between the historically accurate and mythologized, creating images that are neither exact translation nor pure invention.

Dyrenforth’s series of “stand-ins” are deft replicas of objects that are (or could be) found in his drawings and video. Fabricated from theatrical prop foam and stripped of their original functions, the pieces reference particular tools and sites for the dispatch of information: a fire circle, telescope and transistor radio look ghostily monumental, only to be counterbalanced by their flimsy formalism. The radio is the only object that retains its diction: equipped with an internal transistor, it broadcasts the aural meanderings and ersatz manifestos of Nicodemus, a character devised and portrayed by the artist. The audio piece also serves as soundtrack for the video, screened in the second gallery, that finds Nicodemus in a kind of abject cul-de-sac: Peppered with rants about “harvesting to the next level” and “nocturnal emissions,” Nicodemus’ speech-rambling and only partially coherent-breaks down the language of personal liberation just as it confirms it efficacy.

Related blog posts: James Wagner
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