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Amy Yoes.

Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York NY January 11 * February 10, 2007

According to the gallery's press release, Amy Yoes's hypnotic black-and-white stop-animation and related wall and floor sculptures and digital grabs, all titled Rear-View Mirror (2006), collectively inspire a "look back while moving forward [through] aspects of early modernism, in all its experimental variety (...), world-making and re-invention." The centerpiece, however, remains the 1:30-minute DVD loop. Consisting of competing isometric projections of some topsy-turvy, Escher-like theater, here mutable abstractions bombard the viewer with perpetual motion, metamorphosis, and augmentation or diminution of form, all occurring across a multi-level stage itself composed of refracted and splintered shapes.

A virtual son et lumiere in miniature, Rear-View Mirror reflects, among others, a gangly, hydra-headed glob of white clay (a nod to the Gumby claymation character), a giant cornice piece that suddenly crashes to the ground with a metallic thud, abstract embellishments moving along a conveyor belt, a jumbled pile of caramel candy squares and, around the edges, planes, and curves of this Ubu-esque set, a bullet-like spray of polka dots. Two-thirds into it, other designs begin to take over, including thick viscous enamel paint, an art nouveau floral pattern, and a self-generating constructivist maze, all ending in a confabulation of figure, light, and ground. But throughout the melee, on a sideways proscenium of sorts, two squiggly lines continue to roil, merge, and disentangle in a separate drama of their own, otherwise unmoved by their demonically possessed surroundings. Appearing almost human amidst all this non-stop automatism, these long-limbed coils vaguely hint at infatuation or befuddlement.

As all these shape-shifting characters enter, exit, and interact, they assume contrary affects, from staccato to languorous, to abrupt to floating, to assembly-line indifference. Relatively empty at the outset, the stage set is incrementally overtaken by a maelstrom of clutter, moldings, and geometric designs. Such gleeful promiscuity belongs to a liminal zone of undecidability, seemingly alive--or at least energetic--but without a shred of direction or motivation. Perpetual motion at its purest, perverse subtraction and addition, deprived of any apparent agency or metaphor through which to filter the viewer response, this profusion of home deco supplies and modernist utopian inferences is only faintly reminiscent of those "urban paths of decay and regeneration" to which the press release alludes. Is chaos now the new standard of beauty?
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Title Annotation:art exhibitions
Author:Liu, Andrea
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 1, 2007
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