OCTOBER 19 – NOVEMBER 24, 2007
New York (October 5, 2007) – Based in Los Angeles, artist Amir Zaki pushes the boundaries of the real and the imagined with his depictions of urban California landscapes and architecture. In his new series of photographs ?•, Zaki continues to explore themes of ambiguity and anonymity by displacing but personifying unique architectural structures as subjects. While remaining committed to the depiction of the mundane and pedestrian, Zaki’s ? • is subversive and unnatural, pushing the limits of photographic realism and transforming architecture into relics of an ineffectual world.
Seen in and around Southern California, Zaki’s buildings are mundane constructions transformed from their natural settings through the photographic lens to emphasize their dynamic volumes and sculptural masses in space. Using historicized formats seen in photographic typologies and documentary projects, Zaki challenges this stylistic vocabulary and ‘authentic’ perspective by framing portrait-like images of these buildings that foreground their unique surroundings. Camouflaged into their monolithic facades are obscure, non-descript signage that mysteriously inform yet further alienate the constructions from the familiar. Common churches, shopping malls, gas stations and fast food joints are ultimately rendered functionally ambiguous; their adorning symbols create conflicting connotations that instigate questions as to the true nature of architectural function and symbolic purpose.
Accompanying the photographs are several wall sculptures cut with precision from a thick and dense polyurethane substrate. Here, Zaki has sourced and enlarged obscure, enigmatic symbols that reference and often mimic the adornments seen within some of the photographs. Finished with high gloss colors graphed directly from the buildings on which similar symbols appear and mounted in the exhibition space, these composites are exalted from the mundane into highly considered objects.
Concurrently on view at Perry Rubenstein Gallery 534 West 24 Street is an exhibition by Brooklyn based sculptor Diana Al-Hadid.