PARTICIPANT INC is pleased to present Joy Episalla, Street View Rear Window, a solo exhibition featuring recent photographic, sculptural, and video work. The Garage series was originally shot in Sun City, Arizona in 1989. Garage doors are membranes that separate a domestic interior from the exterior street. They present a face that also functions as a kind of shutter, like that of a camera. Episalla digitally edited the 35mm color slide images, removing color, heightening values, and occasionally altering compositions.
Committed to the sculptural possibilities of photography, Episalla places one photograph on the floor leaning against a wall, while another skins 39 feet of gallery wall, melding with the architecture of the space. Aerial View 3 incorporates a large photogram propped up on the floor, sandwiched between layers of overlapping planes of canvas and Plexiglas, stressing time, materiality and the provisional. The 3-channel video installation, Les Psychanalystes et le Marché, places the viewer directly in the position of a membrane. The source video captures the sculptural and temporal nature of the set up, running, and dismantling of a street market in Paris, shot from a fixed aerial viewpoint.
The three channels present three phases of the action concurrently. While the video documents the scene in front of the lens, the audio narrative describes what is happening behind the camera. The artist’s oddly intimate interaction with the psychoanalyst couple, whom have lent their apartment and terrace for the video recording, is mixed with an interior accounting. The viewer experiences outside and inside, the scene and behind the scene, simultaneously.
This body of work draws from, and relates to, the early photographs of Nicéphore Niépce and Nadar, the films of Chantal Akerman, Hollis Frampton, and Alfred Hitchcock, performance, drawing, and the legacies of modernist abstraction. The artist explores the porousness of memory, along with the flux of processes, and how process determines outcomes that retain the shifting instability of perception.
Joy Episalla has shown widely in the US and in Europe since the 1980s. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Centrale for Contemporary Art Brussels, Aeroplastics Contemporary Brussels, the Mannheimer Kunstverein, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Studio 1.1 London, Mercer Union in Toronto, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the International Center of Photography, Debs & Co, White Columns, and Momenta Art. She has been a member of the queer art collective, fierce pussy, since 1991. Joy Episalla lives and works in New York City.
Image caption: Joy Episalla, garage 5, 2015, archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle photo rag, 40 x 75 inches; and Still 6 from Les Psychanalystes et le Marché, 2015, 3-channel video installation