Group Exhibition What brings the seven artists in FLAY, SPLAY, PLAY together is an especially obsessive habit to take things apart. They also share a geographic predicament -- all involved with the Brooklyn scene and SmackMellon specifically – yet it is a more strange and scientific practice that has dictated this line-up. These artists share a predisposition toward a biological dissection of their chosen subjects. It is an anatomical aesthetic applied to things that have nothing to do with anatomy, and operated upon with invisible scalpels, i.e. computer code, lens and resin catalyst. The tendency that these artists favor is to dissect and flay though the focus of their attention is as diverse as it can get: Jennifer and Kevin McCoy analyze pop culture meticulously dissecting and archiving TV sitcoms and playing them back to us one bit of minutia at a time. Every scene is catalogued, timed and color-coded until the inanity of what we call American culture hisses and glares back at us from within the tube.
This work is based on the climatic chase sequence from Evil Dead II. The artists re-enact the scene on a specially designed stage set. Each shot in the sequence is individually digitized. Custom computer software selects these clips at random, playing them back in a seamless but continuously variable way, changing the speed and direction of play. The images are projected at cinematic scale and the computer hardware is installed in a black briefcase, which forms part of the installation.
The source material for this work is a collection of one hundred episodes of the Looney Tunes television programme. Each episode is broken down into a series of individual shots. The artists have assigned key words to each instance they found of violence or physical extremity: every fall, every explosion, and every anvil. There are 120 categories in total. Each category is archived on an individual video CD which is labelled in clear, bold lettering and installed in the gallery on a shelf. Video CDs can be played back via the built-in video player.