Christina West – Stay Asleep
PLUG Projects presents the solo exhibition ‘Stay Asleep’ by Christina West, on view through May 21, 2016, evoking, according to the artist, “a harshness of reality by suggesting a reticence to face it—to not wake up”.
Although together in the same room, the human-sized sculptures do not seem to share the same dreams and desires. On the contrary, disconnected from the everyday routine, they escape the pressure of social rules to explore their inner longings without someone to approve or disapprove of their behavior. Each body lies isolated in its own pleasures, stuck in a moment of ecstasy that implies the refusal to acknowledge the presence of others or any elements that could alter this unconscious state by reminding of a temporarily abandoned dimension of existence. In the case of the standing man struggling to undress or the ironic pose of the dog, the artist adds a humorous touch to the apparently absurd situation these ordinary people find themselves in, that if awake might feel uncomfortable.
Color breaks the visual experience into different levels of meaning: “The numerous pairs of used work boots suggest a repetition of daily commitments that may be hard to face, while the marijuana plants can offer one way of taking the edge off of reality.” Christina West uses a green-screen tone, “a color that in its typical context is about what will ultimately be edited out.” The objects in the show also carry personal associations with the artist’s upbringing and her childhood memories: “Those objects relate to the idea that certain aspects of our histories can lie dormant, or sleep, in our minds, and often are not evident to others.” And yet this intimate part of life has a significant role in shaping who we are and what we choose to reveal to the world.
Images courtesy of Christina West.