May 5–June 11, 2011
[En anglais] In an era in which photographers increasingly turn to forgotten historical moments for the content of their work (think of group exhibitions such as Re-enactments and Not Quite How I Remember It), it is refreshing to encounter two artists whose imagery calls on the past while still being firmly anchored in the present. In a recent two-person show at Angell Gallery, Alex Kisilevich and Geoffrey Pugen exhibited new works that played with mimicry, camouflage, and masquerade while self-reflexively addressing the possibilities of their chosen mediums.
In the front gallery, Kisilevich presented the results of his recent MFA thesis project: a series of seven large-scale, colour photographs depicting anonymous figures in awkward poses and makeshift disguises. Stick-Figure (2011), for example, features a figure loosely bound in armour made of thin tree branches. Identifiable as male only by the tufts of red facial hair that peek through his rustic outfit, the model is frustratingly faceless, yet his stance betrays a surprising sense of calm. Similarly, in Hair Head (2011), a young woman in a mustard dress is perfectly poised for a seated portrait, except for the thick mane of hair that obscures her entire face. In Mop (2010), another female figure is bent at the waist, a mop tucked under the back of her dress and covering her head in place of her hair. Through the manipulation of everyday props in these would-be portraits, Kisilevich creates disorienting views of human bodies that nevertheless unfold in vernacular spaces. Fake wood panelling and ornate linoleum floors appear throughout the series, suggesting a latent sense of the uncanny in these otherwise familiar settings.