In Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh, the beloved bear describes his happiest moment as the very instance just before the honey touches his tongue. The anticipation of a big reveal is more precious than the reward itself; the taste of the honey is sweeter while in waiting. In To Hide To Show, a group exhibition at MAMA Gallery, seven participating artists uniquely tread the fine line between secrets and knowledge, captivating viewers in a state of anticipatory excitement.
The gallery is divided into two spaces, physically drawing the discriminating line between the hidden and the exposed. In the larger, well-lit airy space, Clara Balzary, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Fay Ray, Mattea Perrotta, Zoe Crosher, and Johanna Tagada’s works sparsely dot the walls. The breathing space allotted between each artist feels ample therefore refreshing.
Papademetropoulos paints a dancing veil of sensual pink, gracing the scene of a young man on a hunt in the forest. Or perhaps, he is in search of the one to whom the flesh-colored scarf belongs. Ray’s monochromatic photographic collages keep pushing all layers forward, though what has amassed underneath can never be known. Perrotta teases with three bold strokes of dark ultramarine blue, playing peekaboo with nude color fields on the background.
The most enamoring installation is presented by Crosher. The linear display of multiple, mostly monochromatic candid images of Michelle duBois — the pre-Instagram, before-selfie photographs originally taken in 1979 — progressively accumulate dusts. Spanning three walls, the finality is marked by the complete disappearance of Ms.duBois. The subject is obliterated before any meaningful relationship with Michelle can be established.
In the smaller, painted dark room, Lisa Solberg’s installation forces phrases and symbols onto the reflective mirroring structure. Desires and inner thoughts bluntly will themselves to take form. Echoed in the mirrors, expressive roars, though some manage to scribble away on the adjacent walls, remain confined in the oblivion, impatiently waiting for unsuspected preys to be trapped.
There’s no honey pot for Pooh, but the anticipation of a revelation is plenty to be had.
To Hide To Show is on view at MAMA Gallery until July 25, 2015. It’s a GO-SEE-FOR-YOURSELF.
All images courtesy of gallery.