Curated by Doppelgänger Projects
November 12 - December 17, 2016
Matt Brownell, Bobby Davidson, Leah DeVun, Robin Kang, Dylan Neuwirth, Esther Ruiz
“We’re going farther and farther away from the sun”
What do we encounter at the end of a journey? Do we accept peace and a slightly altered existence? Do we settle into profound truths that we have uncovered while pressing new footprints in our dance around the sun? Do we openly receive transcendence? And who do we kiss when we cross over the final threshold?
Unisex Salon and Doppelgänger Projects are pleased to present Rosetta, featuring artists Matt Brownell, Bobby Davidson, Leah DeVun, Robin Kang, Dylan Neuwirth, and Esther Ruiz. Rosetta is inspired by these questions of humanity, under the assumption that one of the primary motivations of existence, is the continuous need to push ourselves beyond what we know to be our own prodigal son. The intrinsic compulsion to set off and unearth treasures, either geographically or metaphysically, is a primal aspect of our natures. We now live in a moment where heading out into the reaches of space conjures the same inspiration mystics encountered when diving into their souls. Our spacecraft, Rosetta, ending her lifespan with one last descent to the comet she accompanied for decades - an absolute merging with her galactic soul mate, into the eons-old dust that once formed everything.
And so, after a voyage spanning more than 12 years and nearly five billion miles, one of the most scientifically productive space missions ever launched comes to an end with Rosetta and the Philae lander forever moored to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it continues its lonely trek around the sun. 
After hearing Rosetta’s story, we feel a stirring in our hearts, aware that space and soul are inextricably linked - the terrestrial becomes extra, earth and sky become one, our internal philosophy is now reflected externally, in the stars above us.
The artists presented in this exhibition each represent this balance, i.e., the dichotomy of technology's constant evolution and the universal quality of all things - the ghost in the machine. Dylan Neuwirth is an artist of light. His sculptures glow with captured gases from our atmosphere, bulbs propagating their own chemical reactions as small galaxies of sparks form. In Source Code (commissioned for this exhibition) triangles of Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, and Xenon are sublimely stratified. His video work, Hands Folded in Prayer, (part of his Jetlag: Deep Web Neverland exhibition on New Hive) distills global society's mass consumption down to an empty avatar of ourselves with a glossy accent lacking spirit, care, or perspective beyond a credit card purchase - an empty shell zooming across the world looking for the next party. Robin Kang’s presentations are esoteric in nature. Often hacking into metadata to find natural fractal patterns in macro, she juxtaposes this very digital process with her textile weavings in her video Earth + Sky. With her BRXL structures (translucent, plastic bricks mass-manufactured in China), she is able to project her "digital textiles" through, distorting and alighting the space with an ethereal presence into the dark.
Bobby Davidson’s Color Bars gif literally breaks down into CMYK confetti as it flows in loop, a constant reincarnation of the breakdown of color. Leah DeVun creates her own soft moonlight through a photograph of the actual moon in Feminary, referencing the days of pre-internet zines. Her photocopied activist aesthetic layers history, LGBTQ and feminist activism over the lunar lightbox, the moon being a common theme through its representation of female community and ties to nature. Matt Brownell’s Lamp sculpture is a retro space-age tool, brightening the room to a striking fluorescent glow, it’s minimal brick brutalism a utilitarian response to an oncoming futurist age. Lastly, Esther Ruiz's pieces are both grounded in the (literal) concrete tactility of their bases, mystical constructions drawing power from the earth, while her neon tubes hovering in the stratosphere, their elemental buoyancy forever floating above the vale.
In presenting Rosetta, we tempt the viewer to enter this space with a sense of curiosity, connecting with light and ultimately recognizing we are all C-Beams glittering in the dark.
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