"ONE WORD : Plastics." That famous line from the 1967 film
"The Graduate" has proved in the decades since its release to be far more prescient than anyone could have imagined. Plastics are ubiquitous — they package our food and drink, comprise and coat our furniture and are woven into our clothing. Plastic makes up the tiniest parts of our world.
"OOOze," on view in amplify arts' Vinton street Generator space, examines just what plastic means from a contemporary standpoint. Curated by Angie Seykora and featuring her work as well as that of Barber and Adam Roberts, the show explores plastics and plasticity, both in terms of the synthetic material and its pliability.
"Bodies are plastic by definition. They're corporeal material capable of adapting and being molded, pliable," seykora said in her curatorial statement. "They're made of stuff, both inherent and incidental, which can be absorbed and expelled. That's what makes the human body an expert consumer."
All three artists share a common approach to manipulating material that mirrors the ways in which our increasingly hybridized human bodies adapt to living on a damaged planet.
Roberts' two-dimensional work uses plastic laminate membranes to trap globs of paint that ooze in a transparent state of suspended coagulation, while Barber's heavily layered paintings reveal themselves slowly by sloughing the surface to expose strata of paint, charcoal and found objects. Seykora uses prefabricated materials steeped in industrial manufacturing's modern history to articulate sculptural forms that reference abnormal cell growths and mutations.
"We all surrendered to the materials, which take on their own life in terms of how they connect to plastic," Seykora said. "We respond to how the material is disposed of and the life force it takes on once that happens. The works aren't immediately readable, but as viewers spend time with them, they'll slowly reveal themselves."
Amplify Arts Generator Space, 1804 Vinton st. "OOOze." Opening reception: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. Through aug. 23. Gallery hours: noon to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday. amplifyarts.org or 402-996-1092.