Turn Your Face Toward The Sun
December 3, 2015 – Feburary 7, 2016
Featuring Charlie Morris & Liz Rodda
Turn Your Face Toward the Sun couples together works by Charlie Morris and Liz Rodda and explores contemporary assemblage, subculture iconographies and vernaculars, and themes of control, desire, anxiety, power, surveillance, and subversion. Combining crafted works with found content, each artist’s interdisciplinary practice involves the act of collecting and sifting through images, videos, found objects, and more to recontextualize and focus the viewer on the unseen. Whether the content is culled via youtube or encountered on a daily walk, the viewer is given parts which illuminate underlying tensions concealed by a calm surface.
Morris’ work centers on the politically charged and tactics of varied authorities and systems. The role of the viewer and their autonomy is questioned – how are ones decisions coerced or controlled outside of his/her knowledge or because a blind eye is turned, and how does the balance of power shift when this privilege is forfeited. In Rodda’s work different evidence of longing and fantasy are present, sometimes in relation to inadequacy or the desire to connect to another person. In both artists work we find a reference to different ways we perform, negotiate roles and identity, and are censored -whether or not each is forced or self-inflicted. Constructs that give a sense of security and our habit to depend on them are brought into focus and we find the viewer directed to these subjects with works that gently balance on the moments where anticipation meets anxiety.
I think of my process in terms of inputs and outputs. Inputs include what I read, view, and collect. Outputs are the result of shuffling and manipulating the material I gather. A lot of my time is spent searching for resonant images and objects online and in my immediate environment. I also accrue material in the form of ideas, drawing influence from pop culture, philosophy, and psychology. As a material is acquired, my role shifts from a collector to a curator of sorts. The task is to build unexpected relationships between materials, in which some kind of tension surfaces. Several works in the show are the result of learning about ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. ASMR is characterized as “a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body” in response to visual and/or auditory stimuli. ASMR videos are being made by individuals all over the world and shared widely online. This phenomenon is interesting to me as a potential response, or remedy, to the alienation produced by the Internet, the very place where these videos exist.
Liz Rodda (born 1982, CA) lives and works in Austin, Texas. Her work has recently been presented in solo exhibitions at the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum in St. Augustine, Florida, David Shelton Gallery in Houston, Texas, and Lawndale Contemporary Art Center in Houston, Texas. Past screenings and group exhibitions include The Festival of (In)Appropriation, The Anthology Film Archives, NYC; The Texas Biennial, Contemporary at Blue Star, San Antonio, TX; Optic Nerve; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; and Kiss The Future at Schwartz Gallery, London. She also recently participated in a residency program at Fountainhead in Miami, Florida. She is an Assistant Professor of Expanded Media at Texas State University, School of Art and Design.
Conceptually, I focus on how private and public interests are expressed, interpreted, edited, and then disseminated through various commercial mediums such as print, product, video, and corporate business promotional materials to the public at large. Often, this information is used persuasively as propaganda intended to shape public opinion, guide consumer attitudes, and delineate artificially created social structures. My work addresses the recursive relationship between a seeming plethora of propaganda and the quality of collective consciousness it affects. Utilizing a variety of visual strategies such as juxtaposition, scale manipulation, and contextual shifts, I explore the separation between what we feel to be the everyday mundane, versus a reality seemingly engineered through conditioning. Materially, I employ a variety of media to illustrate these interests.
Charlie Morris (born 1969, IN) lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Art Palace Gallery, Houston; DynamoExpo, Enschede, Holland; The Project Space, University of Houston; Three Walls Gallery, San Antonio, TX; and REM Gallery, San Antonio, TX. Past group exhibitions include i8 Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland; Galerie Contrast, Barcelona,Spain; Rudolph Projects/ArtScan Gallery,Houston,TX; HxBxL Project Space, Enschede, Holland; Mulcahy Modern, Dallas, TX; Unit B Gallery, San Antonio; William Cambell Contemporary Art Gallery, Fort Worth,TX; The Macintosh Museum, Glasgow, Scotland; I-Space Gallery, Chicago, IL; Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL; and Cleveland Institute of Art, OH. Past residencies have included A.R.E. Enschede, Holland; Artpace San Antonio; Can Serrat, El Bruc, Spain; Centre d’ Art Natura, Farerra, Spain; and Yale University School of Art Norfolk summer residency.