DEVIATIONS IN SPACE, VARIOUSVIRGINS Press Release
March 22—April 26, 1997
On March 22nd, the gallery will present new work by Los Angeles-based artist Jason Rhoades. The show is entitled "DEVIATIONS IN SPACE, VARIOUSVIRGINS". This will be the artist's second one-person exhibition at the gallery. Parallel to this show, Jason Rhoades' work can be seen at the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial exhibition, where he will exhibit his large-scale work entitled "Uno Momento, the Theatre in my Dick, A Look to the Physical/Ephemeral", first shown at the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, in 1996.
"Deviations in Space" is a single, large work that will utilize the entire space of the gallery. Its central element is a Spaceball ô, a simple mechanical structure originally designed to create a sensation of suspended gravity through multi-directional rotation within a sphere. This Spaceball ô is surrounded by eleven brown boxes, each of a different size. The content of each of these boxes varies as do their functions within this installation. The primary image that this arrangement evokes is that of a universe. "Universal" may well be the most appropriate term to describe this work in its visual and conceptual complexity. Rhoades utilizes sculptural elements, sound, video, and interactivity to complete this installation. Jason Rhoades' point of departure for this sculpture is the dynamic between the literalness of a store-bought, "real" object and its potential to become, within the context of the work of art, a vehicle to illustrate abstract and/or theoretical concepts. The use of abstract terms and concepts in everyday life and language, and the curious absence of clear definitions for these terms, informs parts of Rhoades' new work. Terms such as space, perspective, creativity, movement, and abstraction itself are being explored and illustrated by the artist via his own popular vernacular.
Based on the assumption that no experience is pure, but instead a composite of psychology and conditioning, Jason Rhoades creates sculpture that avoids being seen as a whole, both visually and intellectually. Instead the artist creates a labyrinth of information, in which the production of meaning jumps back and forth from the literal to the abstract, creating a multitude of associations along the way. The conceptual model for the complexity of this sculpture is that of the dialogue. In the dialogue, linear logic can give way to the notion of veering as ideas are being changed and developed. The ability to veer or better to deviate is essential to the creative process and fundamental for Jason Rhoades' work. The willingness to engage in a dialogue and the willingness to veer are also prerequisites to any understanding of his art.