Susanne Slavick: R&R (…&R)
Location:Bernstein Gallery, Robertson Hall
Audience:Open to the Public
Exhibition dates: January 4 -February 13, 2014
Artist Reception: January 5, 2014
Bernstein Gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment
Contact: Kate Somers, 609-497-2441, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susanne Slavic is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon where she was Head of the School of Art between 2000 and 2006. Slavick’s R&R(…&R) series begin with “found” photographs that circulate on the web. These photographs include decimated buildings and gaping earth as documents of the recent war torn regions, including Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. Slavick paints intricate details into each scene, insertions which combine realism with lyrical, poetic imagery. These “restorative” additions are culturally specific, based on historical research: Islamic angels instead of mechanics tend to a charred car in Stretch; white tracery of a mashrabiya (a traditional Arabic window treatment) hovers ghost-like in a bullet-pocked entryway. In Hemorrhage, a rusted vehicle is deluged by oily water with fish braving the flow of our over-consumption. By taking traditional imagery from the same country whose photograph she appropriates from the web, Slavick poses questions about the magnitude of loss and recovery. While R&R is known as the military term for “rest and relaxation”, the works here open up its meaning to include remorse, restoration, revelation and regrets.