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From: "AUSTIN -- Domy Books" <admin@domystore.com>
Subject: Lakes Were Rivers, Book Release Party and Slide Show -- February 19, 7pm
Date: February 15th 2011

Domy Books is pleased to present

Lakes Were Rivers
Book Release Party and Slide Show

Featuring work by:
Adam Schreiber, Anna Krachey, Barry Stone, Ben Ruggiero,
Elizabeth Chiles, Jason Reed, Jessica Mallios, Leigh Brodie,
Mike Osborne, Sarah Murphy, Susan Scafati Shahan

Saturday, February 19, 2011 at Domy Books, Austin
913 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702

All signed copies of Lakes Were Rivers ($27) will include a print by one of the artists

“(What is it then?—it is, then. simply ‘normal,’
like life)” - Roland Barthes

Mimicry, replica, a parrot call, a photograph. The images in Lakes Were Rivers all contend with the basic function of the camera: the recording of life. They represent things in the world that have been made strange and compelling through the perspective of the artist—a fake plant placed on a lush carpet, a fleshy pink flower pressed against a sheet of plastic, a horse dead on the ground. Each artist was asked to submit work that related to the term “syntax.” The arrangement of things. Once gathered, Barry Stone set about creating his own syntax: a side-by-side, part-by-part, opening up of the relationship between pictures.

Each image is strong on its own, yet, when put through the editing process, when placed together in a context as open as the term “syntax,” a loose narrative emerges. On one page Elizabeth Chiles’ image of a beautiful young man, sectioned and dappled by the light through a screen window is placed next to Mike Osborne’s image of a post-impressionist painting by Paul Gauguin, re-photographed from a sheet of news print. The edge of the page is pressed inward, exposing Gauguin’s solid forms to the flimsy nature of reproduction. Historically confirmed notions of beauty are undercut and made suspicious as Osborne’s page found at a printing press inflects Chiles classic beauty (and vice versa).

That is, in each pairing there is both the image and how-to-read the image. It’s a game of correspondence.

Almost all of the pictures play with the revelation of the photograph not as an index, but as a constructed picture just like anything else. The arrangement of the images throughout the book makes this clear as the inherent naturalness of the photograph becomes increasingly difficult to trust. Barry Stone’s picture of a dimly lit cavern punctured by a collaged seascape precedes Leigh Brodie’s majestic landscape rendered flat through the frame of a redbrick wall. Turn the page and Jason Reed’s double portrait of photographed mounds of earth lie on top of a similar landscape. It’s as if each artist is resisting the given pictorial frame. A photograph is not a window.

No other medium can subvert our notions of everyday life so easily. Both in the recording and the manipulation of the photographic image, each of these artists has found things in the world worth picturing. At times it’s gestural—Jessica Mallios’ purple scrawled “hi” across white modeling forms. Other times it is based directly in language—Ben Ruggerio’s “Coming” filtered through a screen. But mostly, it’s about the parameters of the photographic image—Anna Krachey’s picture of a blurred out photo. Carefully curated into a book with the subheading “syntax,” the images appear together as something greater than just what fits within a single frame.

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