Soundvision, 625 NW Everett, #108
Disembodied.reconfigured, currently showing at Soundvision, is a sampling of clinical, fractured views of the male body by three male photographers. This is not a sexy show--forget the dominant gay romantic trends of Jack Pierson and Mark Morrisroe, with hazy snapshots of fey, tattooed young men sprawled across wrinkled sheets with overflowing ashtrays and open volumes of Rimbaud. When the three photographers at Soundvision regard the male body, it's as if nothing quite adds up. Bodies are fragmented, pixilated, open for critique, and not the least bit romanticized. This show represents a breakdown of flesh, a gaze that doesn't know where to start.
This is perhaps most evident in Chris Komator's sole contribution to the show--a sprawling group of black and white photos, individually framed. They are close-ups of a nude body--one makes out folds of flesh, peach fuzz hair, wrinkles in the skin. It is unclear if the viewer is looking at fingers, elbows, or thighs, and perhaps they are looking at all of these at once. The photos were taken of various spots on the bodies, then loosely reconfigured to create an abstract passage of disorienting skin. Ira Tattleman weighs in with equally disjointed self-portraiture, most effectively in his triptych "self:worth." Three color photos depict the artist staring out blankly in front of a wooden headboard. All of the photographs have been slightly manipulated so that the artist's face is alternately blotted out, burned up, and fading away. It is perhaps the most emotional contribution to the show, abjectly hung unframed with pushpins. Bruce Eves works with sex scenes, but breaks them down to pixilated blocks of color until the bodies are unrecognizable. What we assume to be sexual scenarios are determinable only by the settings and the blocks of flesh-toned squares in the center of the images. In Eves' work, intimacy dissolves into binary sequences.
Big props to Soundvision for bringing much needed conceptually based, photographic artwork to Everett Station. This new gallery has quickly become the most professional spot on the block, and in this case, that's a very good thing. CHAS BOWIE