303 Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition of artists whose work involves an examination of the concept of place. For these artists, none of whom have shown before at the gallery, the idea of place or site is a nexus of contradiction, curiosity and possibility.
For instance, Fatimah Tuggar manufactures fictional tableaux as platforms for an examination of the internal and external dynamics of the “first” and “third” worlds, juxtaposing African villagers with the signifiers of technological advancement. In contrast, Stephen Murphy creates beautiful worlds that, at first, read as faithful photographic reproductions of reality. Murphy conjures fantastical worlds through digital manipulation, creating serene and banally idealized but non-existent landscapes. David Rayson also creates landscapes, but his are painted reconstructions from memory, evoking the psychological drama of suburbia. The watercolors of Tim Gardner reference the past in a different way, by recreating family snapshots as sites of memory and associated feelings of belonging and displacement. More concerned with place as context are the photographs of Nikki Lee, which center on a performative conception of identity: whether as a plaid-wearing lesbian, a painfully hip Japanese East Village denizen or a grimy looking punk, different aspects of the artist’s self are heavily context-dependent. In still another way of looking at place, Tom Gidley’s surreal video reenactment of his experiences at the last Venice Biennale focuses attention on the aura surrounding a particular site and event. Finally, in Laylah Ali’s gouaches, harrowing sites of oppression, torture, and yet also resistance, are depicted in appealing colors and lovingly rendered cartoon shapes
No Place Rather than Here features the work of Laylah Ali, Tim Gardner, Tom Gidley, Nikki Lee, Stephen Murphy, David Rayson, and Fatimah Tuggar.