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Editorial: Features
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Angie Bray
Otis College of Art and Design, Ben Maltz Gallery, Los Angeles, California
Preview by A. Moret


Angie Bray, "Looking Out … going fast," 2010, piezo pigment print, 20 x 73 x 5"

Continuing through March 22, 2015

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust

An immediate disorientation overwhelms the senses and challenges the stability of space in “Night Lies," Angie Bray’s mixed media installation environment. A coat of dark charcoal cloaks the floor, ceiling and walls, while white chalk and pastel lines create a blueprint of the room that is at times intentionally random to skew the viewer’s perception, and at other moments quite accurate. Because the interior lacks a clear architectural delineation there is no direction, barely any visual anchors and an unbearable anxiety that speaks to the “lies” that the darkened hours whisper in our dreams. These are the dreams and spaces which we dare not speak of in waking life. A suspended white metal frame hovers like a levitating spirit. Although the bed frame is actually positioned above eye level, its relationship to the space cannot easily be determined because the eyes must constantly adjust and become familiar with the encroaching darkness. Bray possesses an ability to rein her materials and still remain sensitive to the emotions that they are capable of conjuring.  

Organized by curator Meg Linton, this solo exhibition, titled “Shhhh,” explores four of the artist's major installations and a selection of drawings, photographs, sculpture and video spanning the last thirty years. The title of the exhibition takes its name from an installation created in 2000 that speaks to an ethos found at the root of Bray’s work. The state of mind implicit in the sound “Shhhh” is a call to silence. The quiet mind and still eye allow art an opportunity to speak.

A kinetic sound sculpture composed of 50 elements, “Shhhh” resembles the laboratory of a mad scientist with its linear configurations of wire, wood, brass and glass emerging from lead boxes that house silent motors. Rods and wires twitch while glass light bulbs orbit the structure and explore the surrounding space. The installation uses its materials to make the energy of the space visible. No matter how subtle — whether it’s the shift in temperature inside the gallery, the direction of light or of passing motion — ‘Shhhh” makes it possible to hear the barely audible sound waves that travel with as much electrical force as the beating of the human heart. In the complex use of intricate, kinetic installations and scrolls painted on acetate, Bray uses material forms to illuminate that which often goes unnoticed: space, time and the delicacy of the present moment.

Published courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2015


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