Armstrong Gallery, Kent State University CAED.
Majeda Alhinai, William Virgil - Brash Collective.
'Conflict' addresses the relationship between contemporary culture and architecture using the obscured ‘icon.’ Disembodied pieces of familiar forms are sample and reassembled to produce a new figure, the hybrid icon. These ideas extended to the graphic representations of these forms, where line, silhouette, and color reveal the hidden figures. The icon is recognizable even when reduced to the most basic version of itself.
The installation alludes to ideas of three-dimensionality conflicting with two dimensions through form, volume, and graphic representation. The effect is realized through the volumetric play of the ‘flattened sculptures’ juxtaposed against the graphics, which encompass silhouettes, curves, and discontinuous textures. The tension between flatness and voluptuousness is most apparent where image, surface, and form compete to produce indefinite figures. No longer wanting to be depicted in their two-dimensional graphic form, the figures peal away to become full-bodied masses. Stripped from all color and materiality, the details of the volumes are revealed through light and shadow.
Scale becomes an essential factor in depicting the ‘flattened’ sculptures; the scale of these ‘hybrid icons’ is designed to be compared to the human body. The confrontation of the five-foot figures is similar to the mascot in costume; however, less intimidating and more personable. Their ‘life-sized’ nature adds to the perverse insinuation that the pieces could come to life. Viewers are encouraged to photograph themselves with the figures as part of the exhibit, as contemporary culture is obsessed with becoming icons.