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“Substrata” at Epoch Gallery
January 9, 2021 - March 5, 2021
Early in the pandemic, Epoch gallery began rethinking the limitations of physical viewing, and offering an inventive digital platform for viewing instead. Navigating through the virtual space is not unlike a first-person video game, and each exhibition shapeshifts to take on a new architectural form and virtual environment, keeping the act of maze-like discovery at the forefront. The architecture for the current show, “Substrata” — which is set in a nondescript snowy glade — was designed by Alice Könitz of Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA), another artist-run, shape-shifting exhibition venue. Navigating through Könitz’ virtual pavilion is a warm, light-filled experience that delights with angular and wood-grained surfaces, and surprisingly sends the viewer down a series of spiraling staircases until you finally arrive in a looming cave, artwork dappled throughout.
While artworks are splayed throughout all of the many above-ground and sub-terrain levels of the structure, the bottom cave level feels particularly meta — a sound piece by Nikita Gale layers echoed screams, highlighting the eeriness of the space, and a neon work by Kristin Posehn is in the shape of gothic architecture’s flying buttress, yet here it is non-functional, buttressing nothing. Elsewhere, Paul Pescador, Patricia Fernandez, Heana Yoo, and others delve into various constructs and systems, whether gender, time, or consumerism.
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Photo: “Substrata” at Epoch. Image courtesy of the artist and Epoch gallery.