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Dominik Lejman

Luxe Gallery
53 Stanton Street, 212-582-4425
East Village / Lower East Side
November 15 - December 22, 2006
Reception: Wednesday, November 15, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Dominik Lejman’s art archeives a peculiar translocation between the cinematic black box and the gallery white cube. In his works, the painterly, architectural, and cinematic qualities enter into a mutual conversation and exchange. Lejman often uses the figure of the “theatre room with lights turned on.” When we are in a movie theatre and the lights have been turned on, we are still in the space of the spectacle – only the spectacle has now ended and we are alone; watching ourselves.

Lejman’s art employs shades of a minimalist tradition. The artist is involved neither in following the contemporary artistic tradition, nor, as some believe, is he interested in “modernising” painting by mixing it with moving digital pictures. The minimalist aesthetic is of interest to Lejman as the organising principle of the public space.(`Black Square with Juggler’ and `Cinematic Dandelion’)

The notion of time-delay, viewer’s surveillence, staging and perspective are utilized by the artist as projected layers of paintings, often questioning the ethical and political strategies of exposure. Lejman`s most recent works employ the role of human scale and perspective as a tool for sanitizing the image. This is most evident in YO LO VI (after Goya’s `Inquisition`), a painting which incorporates the viewer as projection. In front of us we see the back of a little figure with a cone cap on his head and white board on his chest. There is a second delay and then we see ourselves projected on canvas behind the figure, facing him. The sentence on the white board is not actually revealed to us, but to our image, projected onto canvas.

The artist states:

I have started to think how an adult is very often put in a similar position/scale of the child’s perspective by the ,vision machine`. It is not only a question of perceving an image but a sense of our dimensions in front of it – our optics are so often infantilized by the monumental exposure. We grow up but it does not necesserily effect our perspective – a window that the world is presented to us.

In A little Quiet Room the artist uses a blown up photograph of a cell used to ‘calm down’ the ‘overexcited’ children at the children’s psychiatrist hospital in New York. The size and perspective of the wallpaper was overscaled to match on the dimensions of an adult. The viewer in front of this trompe`oeil is filmed and then projected, again with a second delay, onto the floor and locked in a pattern of hundreds of little cells from the optical toy. By doing this Lejman draws attention to the inevitable subjectivity involved in every vision of the world, even when this world seems to be shown `as it is’ in itself.
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