Like the Spice proudly presents “1 + 1 = 11” a new exhibition by artists Allie Rex and Brian LaRossa, two artists confronting time with layered processes and site-specific installations. Their individual efforts, which have interacted conceptually and contextually over their thirteen-year relationship, span several mediums. They independently reveal contradictions between momentary awareness and the conceptual understanding of past and future. LaRossa presents multiple allegories within a single moment, utilizing unconscious interjections and his own multitude of digital manipulations to challenge sequential time. Rex’s repetition provokes a transformation of time, expanding upon the illusions of the present. Each artist’s work aims to isolate the present yet allow all indications of time to converge.
LaRossa aggressively challenges the structure of time by reconfiguring its linearity. The first portion of the installation consists of photographs of the gallery taken during a single day. From the photographs he generated drawings to elucidate his own subconscious evaluation. The drawings are then returned to consciousness, vectorized, and integrated back into the original photographs. The dreamy compositions juxtapose the specificity of the photographs and the immediacy of his drawings. LaRossa also presents a selection of portraits, generated through a similar process, that aim to depict "multiple moments of a single facet." Each likeness is simultaneously hyper-real and completely abstracted. LaRossa approaches time as both landscape and portrait, generating an installation of "two bodies of work that are dancing together."
Rex manipulates repetition and abstract language to further enhance and betray the implications of time. Her experiments with color and shape are composed of hand-painted mylar and tiny stick pins. Rex's simple units, such as cubes or grids, are pinned to and project from the wall. The compositions are structured like flat paintings liberated from their two-dimensionality. The work is flexible, concurrently fragile and strong. Rex challenges the truth of her chosen symbols and mediums quite openly: the stable, foundational cube becomes a dainty net; a flat painting oscillates between two and three dimensions. Bygone installations are reworked into updated incarnations regularly, literally integrating the past and a certain anticipation of the future. Her site-specificity, however, links each work to the present and the exclusivity of each construction. Her work is at the mercy of the universe: each paper grid will inevitably droop with time, and her fragile, projected compositions are constantly vulnerable to chance. The future provides an objective adjustment to her work, uncovering a tension between the foresight of planning and the alterations of reality's linear time.
Both artists create installations that capture and ignore time at once. LaRossa's work imparts a monumental energy to his subjects, reinvigorating their present moment while honoring incarnations of the past and future. LaRossa makes "many facets of a single moment" accessible. Rex's compositions, masked in exactitude, surrender to the effects of time. Time imparts adjustments to her work, such as shadows on the wall or sagging compositions, and challenges their meticulous structures. Both artists incorporate illusions that taunt the viewer and challenge them to digest the work outside of reality's linearity.