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Points of View - “Reflexion”

Posted October 1, 2014 in Events

Written by MFA student Aj Cooke, Points of View explores local gallery exhibitions in order to spark an open and accessible exchange of ideas and nurture collective intelligence about the art being created and displayed in our community.

Calvin College (106) Gallery
September 5 - October 12

When you hear the word reflection, you might think of a mirrored image looking back at you, or a more abstract notion of a copy in our world. You might also think about memory, contemplation, or even an alternate spelling of the word – “Reflexion,” which is the title of Calvin College (106) Gallery’s ArtPrize exhibition this year. A reflex could refer to an automatic response or action to stimulus, as well as a synonym to bend, turn back or reflect (or so a dictionary told me). The venue states that the nine artists included in the exhibition display a “bending back,” and they also “invite contemplation, ruminate on memory and identity, investigate properties of light, utilize the return of lines, consider the incomplete and ambiguous, and fix viewers’ thoughts on legacy.” For this viewer, “Reflexion” as a whole provides a paradox of static movement created by the contrast of strong linear compositions coupled with a still physicality of the art objects. This push and pull tension acts much like a memory – neither here nor there, just like light reflecting the world all around us.

Relexion exhibition"Reflex/Reflects” by Jeff Haase and Andrea Myer

The show-stopping installation by Jeff Haase and Andrea Myer entitled “Reflex/Reflects” is a collaboration that, according to their statement, “Began with an interest in investigating light and reflected color within a constructed object.” Haase/Myer continue to explain that the title refers to “the physical [scientific] condition of reflection” coupled with a metaphysical state expressing “the ideas of meditation, contemplation and the evaluation of one’s personal experiences as an act of psychological reflection.” The installation, which is a construction of wire and painted paper mache suspended from the gallery ceiling, also includes a matrix of mirror panels on the floor, which reflects the structure back up to itself from underneath. The work is large in size, yet appears to be floating in space.

Upon further observation, “Reflex/Reflects” continues to be not at all what it seems as the initial blast of rainbow-like colors are only painted on the top layers, leaving the bottoms of the paper mache white – or are they? There are many reflections happening with this work, the most obvious occurs when the floor mirrors reveal the existence of the interior structure to the viewer. Not only can we now glimpse the process of construction, but a new vision of the artwork altogether as the reproduction exposes a large chasm or hollowing out from within the object, that depending on the viewer, can be read as a decay within the whole, or a new structure burrowing into the gallery floor (I suggest you experience the installation in person and contemplate the “glass half empty or half full” litmus test for yourself).

"Reflex/Reflects” by Jeff Haase and Andrea Myer

Individual worldviews aside, the properly titled “Reflex/Reflects” successfully provides the viewer with an instant response that will not be the concluding experience after allowing consideration for what we see in our world and how our own perceptions change with time.

Additional shout out to Shannon Mossing’s installation “Based on Things That Happened (Somewhere We’ve Never Been),” as well as Kate Gesel’s “The Delicacy of Place,” as two particularly strong works of art in this exhibition that demonstrate reflection as meditation and memory.


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