Louviere+Vanessa: Oblivion Atlas
December 14, 2013 – January 30, 2014
Opening: Saturday, Dec 14, 8-10pm
The mapping of the mind is an exercise expressed by both image and text. Both methods uniquely document and take the internal to the light of day. The Oblivion Atlas reaches one step beyond to form a third aesthetic way by the simple idea that “motion must be frozen before being recreated as motion.” The book first came about as a constraint determined by Zell from the initial lines of Jacques Prevert’s To Paint A Portrait Of A Bird (“First paint a cage/with an open door”), secondly by the attempt at developing a corollary style of frozen-image writing as worthy counterpart to the hypnotic spell cast by both photography and long takes by filmmakers such as Tarkovsky, and ultimately by the specific influence and inspiration of L + V’s fertile decade of photographic art. The second ballast was formed by L + V’s response to Zell’s short stories, with the challenge to embrace elements of interest and uniquely portray them.
The Oblivion Atlas explores and accumulates an aviary of themes, including dreams; time-sculpting; memory; madness; resistance; nihilism; the frequencies and trajectories of the mind; absorbing/dissolving; and infinity in a finite space; none of this with cognitive delicacy but rather by nimbly moving through the tension with a sprung step that rumbles as necessary. New Orleans and Louisiana remain steady companions throughout, not at the usual baseline of easy affiliation, but rather as an active guiding presence treated in a singular manner. This book is precise but not taut, assertive but not doctrinaire, ambitious but not exclusive, inviting the reader in by its very design and the affirmation that “the first act of freedom is when the mind says no and the second when it says yes.”