"Room with a View" Adam Crosson + + + + +
Co-Lab Projects' DEMO GALLERY @ The Avenue, 721 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78702
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 2nd, 6-10pm
I continually trace between the language of urban densities and peripheral spaces of dissolve—each condition becoming recognized in the other, the results are photographs, sculptures, and installations referencing uncanny instances of time and place. In these conditions my works formulate place as vestige where a vernacular is gathered through distance, as from the passing train in the landscape or from a bird’s-eye view overhead. Recently I have been mining roadways and streetscapes for signs in varying states of obsolescence. I produce facsimiles of these structures as sculpture and I also work with these signs in-situ, converting them into large cameras from which I make photographs from their position and point of view.
Rebecca Solnit discusses America’s “amnesiac landscape” as one of erasure, razing the structures of our history as means of escape and control. I use my work as a tool to investigate the American ruin, an endangered species as Solnit describes. In a nation of erasures it is necessary to detect emerging conditions of the ruin as structures that are calibrated with America’s amnesiac tendencies. The lights that still glow in an otherwise sign of nothingness seem to state, in a very distinct way, the ironies undergirding a nation of erasures.
When signs lose their subjects, their information panels, they become infrastructural relics. Instead of signifying points of commerce through sign as metaphor, they signify—through metonymy—the very antithesis of a functioning capitalist economy, summed up in terms of stagnation, ends, lack, and ultimately, the ruin. There is an untethering of the literal sign structures from the commercial buildings on which they were previously attached. They become individually autonomous within a post-commercial taxonomy.
My photographs come out of an ethos of photography as ritual as opposed to reflex. I make each camera that I use and generally I make two types of photographs. One type emerges directly from my appropriation and conversion of empty signs or otherwise underutilized spaces into cameras while the other type is of open water conditions in South Louisiana. I find that the first type is anchored in logic, in a set of rules that determine all variables involved while the second type is open, floating at the water’s edge.
The sign structure photographs are typically composed of a strict grid of individual images, resulting in many slightly shifted perspectives of streets, parking lots, and strip malls; they have a complicated or ambivalent relationship to place while the waterscapes are saturated in a specific and poetic connection to place. The open water photographs are made at the infrastructural ends where blacktop or gravel meets water at land’s edge. I have been focusing these efforts in the South Louisiana landscape, where land’s edge is swiftly losing ground. These open water photographs have larger image diameters that overlap; the photographs are large in scale, opening the viewer to the sublime sense of the landscape that I experience beyond the levees.
The two ways in which I make photographs seem to be anchors along my own gamut of how I experience conditions of place. By working both centrifugally and centripetally, moving from the urban-out and the rural-in, my work remains in flux, continually disassembling notions of boundary and threshold.
Adam Crosson was born in Arkansas in 1982. He holds an MFA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BARCH from the Fay Jones School of Architecture. Crosson was recently awarded a Core artist-in-residence fellowship through the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for the 2016-17 term. In 2014, Crosson was awarded the inaugural Dean's Royal College Exchange Fellowship allowing him to spend a term at the Royal College of Art, London where he participated in two group exhibitions. In 2014, Crosson was also awarded the Umlauf Prize and a fellowship to attend the Vermont Studio Center residency program. Recent solo exhibitions include Soft Wax at Pump Project, and Intermodal at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and museum, both in Austin. In 2015, Crosson was included in group exhibitions in Providence, RI and Houston, TX. He has organized exhibitions in Texas, London, and Vermont. www.adamcrosson.com