July, 27, 2007
Los Angeles Times
All Charted on the Maps of Our Lives
Zoom +/-, an enjoyable excursion through the theme of mapping, is threaded with good humor and clever subversion of the map's physical integrity and implicit authority. NInteen artists - youngish and older; East Coast, West Coast and beyond; painters, sculptors, photographers, makers of videos and collages - are represented in the show, organized by Doug Beube and Sherry Frumkin for Arena 1.
Nina Katchadourian's works are among the wittiest explorations of the map as both discrete object and indicator of position. Cutting away interstices and leaving only linear routes, she transforms a subway map into a delicate tangled nest and photographs it resting in the palm of her hand. Her genealogical chart of comestibles (Mrs. See's begetting Wolfgang Puck, cousin to the Sun Maid raisin girl and so on down the generations to the Gerber baby) is a wry, hilarious take on branding.
In Joyce Kazloff's righly layered iamges, drawn maps of battle sites are embellished with the children's drawings of superheroes and UFOs and studded with tiny reproductions of resonant imagry from Italian Renaissance to German Expressionism. Place becomes the sum of recollection and imagination.
Another provocative highlight is Christian Nold's Newham Sensory Deprivation Map. Some 30 students at a London college were sent out in pairs, one wearing a blindfold and earplugs, the other with a GPD device, pen and paper. The resulting map dismisses with familiar campus landmarks and roads, instead redefining the environment according to smells, breezes, levels of comfort and discomfort, hunger, texture, fellings of confusion and relief. Place and experience connect in a litteral and yet suggestive way.
Among the other notable works in teh show are skittish etchings by Jeff Woodbury, Robert Walden's painted Ontological Road Maps and co-curator Doug Beube's worm-eaten Erosion collages.
Zoom +/- continues at Arena 1 through September 8.