Jamie Grace Davis
JUNE 1-30, 2014
PROXY Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition Paragon by artist Jamie Grace Davis.
Paragon is a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality. A parergon is “a piece of work that is supplementary to or a byproduct of a larger work.” For Jacques Derrida the frame is a kind of parergon in the sense that it is both an object secondary to the work, and a context (as in framework) that defines and contributes to the work.
Davis has placed an object, a silver and turquoise bracelet, inside the three-dimensional “frame” of the Proxy Gallery, and then placed a picture frame on the wall, enclosing the bracelet, the gallery, and the lighting fixture. The outer frame, however, and the outside of the gallery are not lit, contributing to a kind of interiority of the whole arrangement. According to Derrida there is no such thing as an outside; rather, every center produces a margin which always comes into the inside in order to define itself as an inside. A technical characteristic of the camera illustrates this: metering the light inside the gallery produces a dark exterior, while metering for the exterior frame makes the interior fade to white. There is no way to balance the interior and exterior light, since they are both relative to each other.
The frames are also another way to ask the questions: When do we stop looking? Where is the end of the work? What is the nature of desire that arises in the encounter with the work? The silver jewelry anchors the work in acquisitiveness and corporeality, while the fake gold of the outer frame conjures art historical painting, indicated semiotically.
The Eames’ Powers of Ten has been an important influence on Davis, with the difference that while that film zooms into a molecular level and out to outer space, Davis’s ambition is to call attention to relative size experienced subjectively; to raise the question of the viewer’s experience of their own body and the way it may feel enlarged or diminished relative to the inner or outer space of the installation.