Ken Castelli moved to Tangier Island, Virginia five years ago as the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Tangier History Museum. After three years of building exhibits and learning the local dialect (an accent, much like most Tangiermen eccentricities, wholly unique to the island), he decided to make Tangier his home. But this home is disintegrating, bit by bit, chewed away by winds and tides. Tides that swell and surge through the town, unearthing the dead, encroaching on homes, and drowning the marsh. In this exhibition, Castelli, whose larger body of work documents the landscape and lifestyle of Tangier and the Eastern Shore/DelMarVa Peninsula region of the United States, sketches out vignettes of the inevitable. Abandoned by local politicians and put on hold by scientists and studies, the people of Tangier stand on land that is ever sinking and shrinking, waiting for the water to reach their necks.
This series of drawings is both a warning and a dirge. The rhythm of Castelli's linework rings out a threnody for a piece of American history. This tiny world speaks to the universality of our entropy.
emoemoji : bear is a visual performance that operates by invoking surprise and soulshame, a vulnerable emotional state within us connected to our appetites and desires. The GIF poems combine flickering images and text, in most cases appropriated from third party sources. By reading the poem superimposed over the GIF image, the viewer is transformed into the performer.
The performer must decipher the text by moving the printed reticulated image back and forth as she reads.
The movement of the images heightens the sense of surprise in the performer as the full ramifications of the text reveal themselves through the repeated movement of the images. The surprise and discovery of soulshame in the performer has a transitive effect upon the audience.
By decontextulizing popular and hyper-realistic images from the web and refocusing their meaning through superimposed text, emoemoji : bear seeks to create a state somewhere between Maryln Minter and "abuse of power comes as no surprise."