Johnson's debut at Chambers Gallery
is a breath of problematic air. Comprised
of the words (poetically broken by the walls), "I'm not sexua | lly satisfied"
it is spelled out in dots
. The break is perfect, implicating the viewer and space. There is
also a pile of empty dots boxes used to create the installation.
There is a lot of therapy art out there but this show can't be accused of adding
to that detritus. Instead, it's less Dr. Laura and more declarative, like a political
campaign slogan (with a candy sweet come on)... many will read it like a politcal campaign for better sex.
The candy words even envelope the viewer (and the phallic central support pole of the gallery)
like a female sex organ
or is this gallery suddenly a linguistic blow
up doll? Either way it's well done. Girl power makes its demands quite clear
but with poetic humor here.
It also touches the zeitgeist of the times. It is an election year and everyone
seems to be looking ahead to some new paradigm that will be chosen in November.
This isn't just about sex, it's a general sense of frustration (economy, war,
lack of new ideas) that uses a very intimate need to convey its message.
Other artists like Jenny Holzer, Lawrence
and recently in Portland Marko
have used words to great effect (there's more word art coming in just
over a week too). I'm not convinced this reaches those heights yet but for an
artist still at PNCA this shows a great deal of sensitivity and tuned aesthetics.
An auspicious debut.
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