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Mark Wyse, Marks of Indifference

Wallspace Gallery
619 West 27th Street, ground floor, 212-594-9478
April 27 - May 26, 2007
Reception: Friday, April 27, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Los Angeles based artist Mark Wyse’s photographic work reflects a distinction between the experience of seeing and the meaning of what one sees. Each of the photographs in his new body of work has a relationship to the words “marks of indifference,” the title taken from Jeff Wall’s 1995 essay.

In Wyse’s words, “My hope was to pit the psychology of seeing against the meaning of what is depicted, in turn drawing attention to a presence nowhere seen, but everywhere felt. For me, photographs are a static way of seeing, that often provides the experience of seeing oneself seeing.”

In some cases we see through the photographs to actual “traces” or “marks” of indifference that exist out in the world. In other cases, the work doesn’t function as literally, seeking to reflect on the nature of depiction itself. As both perceptions are represented by the title Marks of Indifference, a sense emerges that such distinctions are irresolvable in photographs, that meaning is never transparent nor is it fully opaque. Perhaps this is most visible in Marks of Indifference #1 (Shelf). Here, the viewer oscillates between seeing marks on photographic paper and seeing marks on a wall in a room…between seeing a pictorial abstraction and a representation of the real world…between seeing a piece of art and its social implications.

In his previous work, Winter, photography was caught between romantic and realist concerns at the sea edge. Here, Wyse points our eyes inland at the fragments and alienated corners of Los Angeles. From the depiction of a neighbor’s fruit tree to the traces of an accident in the family station wagon, photography engages a visceral relationship to seeing the world.
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