Working in an era of shifting consciousness and hyperreality, four artists, Dina Kelberman, Marina Pinsky, Luis Arnías and Alex Ebstein explore their perceptions of memories and culture. Drawing from personal and mass media sources, the artists in NEW HISTORY create art works that portray impressions of time and place, along with lived and fabricated experiences. Each of the artists in this exhibition approach this theme differently, utilizing material, form, and structure to describe and understand the world that surrounds them.
In a time when parts of our culture are changing and others are rapidly in decline, Dina Kelberman addresses the two American staples, which most readily register these shifts – television and the internet. Through her art, Kelberman transforms some of the most available mass media content into a new form of familiar experience. By organizing and archiving web-sourced images and videos into personally relevant arrangements, Kelberman re-contextualizes this material into something memorable and strange. In constructing these visual experiences and environments out of images and materials that are instantly recognizable to most viewers, she allows content that could have otherwise been under-appreciated to take on new meaning and interpretation.
While Kelberman modifies an extant reality by miniaturizing the internet, Marina Pinsky takes impressions of another world and packs them into a dense visual experience all it’s own. Pinsky’s work outlines a struggle to understand her relationship with the historical consequences of two countries that have shaped her existence as a Russian-American. Interested in the physical and philosophical depth of nations in transition, Pinsky incorporates collage and sculpture into meticulous arrangements. She produces an environment for objects, sculptures and typical elements from everyday life so that the viewer may contemplate their histories and existence.
Similarly inspired by the histories and materials produced by a nation in transition is Luis Arnías. Immigrating to the United States at the age of nineteen while making work as a photographer and filmmaker, the Venezuelan-born artist found refuge in the plastics and discarded materials he discovered in his new environment. Out of a reverence for these “humble materials,” he shifted from producing images to constructing sculptures. While retaining a sense of color he feels to be indicative of Venezuelan culture, Arnías plays with forms of memory and language. His sculptures illustrate portraits, hinting at shared experiences, often with humorous connotations. As much as his work may first appear to be esoteric, it is readily conducive to associations brought on by the viewer. After creating films and sculptures independently for a number of years, Arnías chose to combine the two mediums to better elaborate on specific personal memories.
If Kelberman’s fabricated experiences culled from mass media sources occupy one end of NEW HISTORY’s spectrum, Alex Ebstein’s mixed media works influenced by personal experience and the nature of time reside at the other. Ebstein explores how space, line and material, in their most abstract forms, can create something that feels referential. She captures a sense of nostalgia in works that are nonfigurative and which contain no narrative, solely on the arrangement and use of materials. Ebstein seeks objects she deems characteristically “comfortable”, selecting materials that take on a talismanic quality in the works. Her meticulous practice straddles domestic and contemporary techniques, often working yarn and fabric into a shallow-relief surface, while implying a sense of expansiveness. In creating works that could be thought of as nonfigurative dioramas, Ebstein explores a mode that can appear simultaneously otherworldly and memorious.
Guest Spot @ The Reinstitute
1715 N. Calvert St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
October 26 – December 7, 2012
October 26, 2012