Monday, January 24, 2011

Nightmare Window-Dressing

"I like a view but I like to sit with my back turned to it."  Gertrude Stein

Joey Versoza's "moon in the wall, hope it don’t dissolve" at U-Turn Art Space is a nightmare reinvention of window-dressing, cold and brutal with lamps precariously positioned on the floor with paper-towel rolls and other apparatus.  There's a black-eye brewing in the shadows of the space, a flicker of violence that turns to bruise and then thought and then just absolute nothingness.  Each of the works free-floats, like items from a shipwreck surfacing through black water.  I loved the feeling of the whole thing, like spelunking through subconsciousness itself.  It's a rabbit-hole reinvented by Raymond Carver, minimal and mean and yet also starkly lyrical.  "Dear Summer" captures it all:  curtain and opened window.  Period.  That's it.  All that cold air blowing through the space, giving the sight of those prostrated living room lamps the chill they need to turn into Martians.  And then the apotheosis:  a Faulker tribute way off in a corner.  One rose in a glass vase spotlit by one of those lamps, a brittle little poem extracted from a big dark world.

Joey Versoza's "moon in the wall, hope it don't dissolve" closes this Saturday, January 28, 2011.  U-Turn 2159 Central Avenue, Cincinnati, OH.