Visual Arts Program
 

Saturday, November 9 — Friday, December 20

Jacob Kassay

Footage

Jacob Kassay's new works are made up of oriented strand board (OSB), an engineered wood similar to particle board. Here, flakes closest to the surface are photographed and reprinted atop the subject/substrate, and stand in for pixelated image data;  the actual and the depicted are collapsed onto a single stratum that compresses source and secondary information into a kind of schism. The effect of this attenuated rendering mimics the way we process virtual spaces where frames per second and point of view are simultaneously explored by both gamers and characters in the game itself.

This peripheral building material thus becomes a bridge that points toward a digital space, and removes the physical and spatially relative associations of the term "footage." To watch these works is to constantly strain the eye's focal mechanism; they push us to understand not only the digital as it relates to the object, but what it means to stare at a subject through its picture.

Also on view are Andy Warhol’s iconic Polaroid photographs of OJ Simpson (1977) taken the year he left Buffalo and its Bills. To return these portraits of Simpson as a celebrated young man to Buffalo, now, when they cannot, of course, be separated from Simpson’s life to come, suggests what can happen when the relation between the cinematic apparatus and its subject is magnified far beyond its material legacy via broadcast first on television, and then the Internet: the subsequent image almost wholly obfuscates the subject.

Like Warhol’s Empire, Simpson’s infamous 1994 slow speed chase fixed viewers to the TV in an uncanny fascination that became a different kind of passive apprehension, a cross eyed absorption of static imagery with the world arrested in front of an appliance. While waiting for further evidence or information, habitual viewership forked into opinionated participation even as active watching devolved into simple looking.