Atlanta, GA – “All You Can’t Eat and Other Tales of Waiting” the solo exhibition of video installation, photography and drawings by world-renowned artist Caterina Verde
The title of this show might be a Rod Serling statement; a kind of, "what you see is not what you get"....and maybe in your walk along the way you might discover that the obvious is not.
On the surface, Caterina Verde's exhibition at Wm turner gallery asks the initial question, "do you want the platter or the all you can eat? The response, " the platter is all I can eat." In these dramatic times, a reflection like this or rather this very common diner question in America (where we are encouraged to feel that it is our right to have all we can eat) would seem completely apropos. So, while on the one hand it is completely reflective of the gluttony of our western world and the toll it takes when a person might not even know when they are full--- this exhibition represents not just the outer world but the interior world of a man -a human-- in a state between action and repetition...movement and contemplation. Yet we don't know if he is actually contemplating anything at all except to ask the same questions over and over again. And in doing so he is impervious and vulnerable....a paradox to be sure. And, thus, such is the nature of our existence.
Upon entering the exhibition we see a video still, "bull waiting". The bull is waiting to charge out into the glare of the lights and cheers..where he will spin around seeking to eject the annoyance that is on his back....but in the video still what we see is a moment of calm..one might feel that you are entering into the animal's thoughts...and might even feel empathy and understanding.
The next gallery contains a text work and a series of baby-like heads printed in a myriad of simple ways that the contain variations of the text, "poverty is a luxury that I cannot afford." This almost needs no explanation. Yet the infant aspect of the image and the text gives a certain pause.
These outer galleries, in a sense represent the world at large...and yes still touch upon a dream like state... Bright and shiny and almost cartoonish...we are shown the dunking stool, the head cage (notably used for women) and revolution pants that remind us of various public humiliations that have been accepted forms of punishments to keep people in their place....and have been at the onset of revolutions.
The text piece, "crunch crunch is that goat cheese?" vacillates between dream and language and engages us visually without an image perhaps propelling us into a somnambulist state. We might be in that state more often than we think and yet maybe we should go there more.
In the inner gallery, two video installations play at intermittent times. In one, the man is the clock...day light seems to shift and we see him adjusting his clothes, he almost doesn't have enough time for adjustment until the next tick arrives. But in those movements we see a vulnerability, even in the need for adjustment. At one point we see him visibly breathing by the rapid movement of his stomach and there's a kind of quiet anxiousness that propels us into the next moment..
On the opposite wall/video, the man moves through day and night He cuts a circle through the woods into the house back outside on the bench and back to the house again. He looks back at himself as he sits on the bench. He waits. His actions are intercut with a rodeo and car racing...both circular activities that repeat incessantly and in which the seemingly active ones are going nowhere. The goal has nowhere to go.
Stills from the video capture the moment of the man who moves/doesn't move through space and waits as we are all in a state of beginning and waiting...as he asks, "Mike was Penny there?". A question with no seeming substance.
This new work by Caterina Verde is a continuation and reflective of the subjects that have compelled her work, such as, Confinement and the Art of Decoration, a contemplation on language as a decorative element and a confinement of the psyche; The Fragility of Perception, the untenable and fragile aspect of perception and who/what does not always tell us the truth; and Thick Emptiness and Holes to name a few.
Verde doesn't attempt to make a statement but keeps in mind the play of the paradox as means a by which we might keep ourselves in check...
Opening champagne reception featuring a discussion with the artist: Thursday, February 12, 6–9 p.m.
Exhibition: February 12–March 14, 2009
Description: American and French artist and curator Caterina Verde focuses on issues of identity construction within the cultural framework of a multifluous world. Verde’s work is perhaps comparable to a seeming tourbillion of disconnected parts, referencing historical, psychological and perceptual content that manifest as disarmingly simple and enigmatically melancholic and humorous works.
Verde works in a cross platform of media that includes video installation, drawing, photography, editions, as well as 3D objects. Verde contextualizes the different media as a means of cross-pollinating ideas and form that ultimately fuse and exploit the exhibition space as part of the whole.
Verde exhibits internationally, and her work has been featured at Galerie Pennings, Einhoven, the Netherlands; Galerie Eof, Paris; Central Fine Art, NYC; Journée Photographiques de Bienne, Switzerland; Threadwaxing Space; and the Kitchen, NYC; Artspace, New Haven, CT; Wm Turner gallery, Atlanta, GA; among others. Verde’s video work has been presented in international festivals in South America and Asia, as well as commissioned for the New York Hall of Science.
FROM THE ARTIST CATERINA VERDE: Wait. Rush. Wait. Eat. Wait some more ... A split second is an eternity. Wait to rush to the finish line. Rush to wait. Eat some more. Eat enough? Are you full? Wait to be empty again.
Wait to fail, wait to succeed...punishment is waiting and waiting is punishment. Public flogging and just-rightness—setting the record straight—the public spectacle of success.
When is waiting enough?
Works on waiting, euphoria and the quest to start all over again. The forum of public obedience, humiliation and the “maybe” of what lies in the in-between...the clock is ticking.
Wm Turner gallery is located at 112 Krog Street, Suite 9, Atlanta, 30307. The gallery is conveniently situated in The Stove Works building, next to Rathbun’s restaurant. Gallery hours are 12-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday. More information is available at www.wmturnergallery.com or by calling 404-577-4500.