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Lines Like Legs — Ted Gahl and Gregory Kalliche at Fjord


[Joshua goes down the rabbit hole into a dual exhibition that stares madness in the face, and comes away a bit dizzy. — the Artblog editors]

In Fjord’s current exhibition, Lines Like Legs, artists Ted Gahl and Gregory Kalliche play with the real and representational. The exhibition cleverly blurs the line between what is real and what is not. Artwork is intentionally confusing. Discovering unusual figures with a tinge of familiarity is like finding figures in the clouds. Smiling faces and other common objects present themselves in unusual and unexpected places. Things become curiouser and curiouser, and one must ask: Have I gone mad?

The title of this exhibition, Lines Like Legs, perfectly summarizes what one will see. Wall-sized drawings on PVC vinyl, and images of cacti that are titled “R,” make the viewer wonder what he is actually looking at. Images are distorted, blown up, and taken out of context. Everyday objects are presented, and yet nothing seems to make perfect sense.

Hints of something you know

Unshareables II
Gregory Kalliche, “Unshareables”.

Kalliche’s video installation, “Unshareables I,” focuses on the blurring and blending of common objects in a kaleidoscopic mixture and motion of color. Familiar objects, such as the artist’s bed, the back of an airplane seat with a tray table, and a rug appear on screen, only to be skewed and blurred in a whirlwind of color.

Kalliche continues his practice of blurring the common in his video installation, “Find Something to Relate to”. In this video, he appeals to the viewers’ aural sense. The video announces bodily features, such as hands, elbows, and knees, in the manner of a PBS Kids Electric Company video. However, things run askew when the artist presents the viewer with objects that look like legs.

Gregory Kalliche, “Transparency,” video installation.

In his third and final video installation, Transparency, Kalliche incorporates found video that he reappropriates in a montage of patrons walking into a glass wall at a convenience store. Here, the viewer is presented with a literal compilation of people confusing the real and the fake. Patrons repeatedly walk into a glass pane that they assume to be a door. They look around, dazed and confused, trying to make sense between lines and legs.

Multilayered mysteries

Find Something
Gregory Kalliche, “Find Something to Relate To,” and “R”.

The piece titled “R” is perhaps the cleverest work in the exhibition. In this construction, an image of a cactus and plywood is printed on PVC vinyl and glued to a piece of plywood with the same dimensions. The bench in the gallery is also made of plywood, which whimsically plays with the printed plywood in “R”. Collectively, they embody the spectrum of real and representational.

Ted Gahl, “Twain ’89 (House Painter Twice)” and “The Lonely Writer (Twain ’89)”.

In Ted Gahl’s large canvas works, “Twain ’89 (House Painter Twice),” and “The Lonely Writer (Twain ’89),”mystery is again present. The canvases are left largely white, with subtle attributes to American author Mark Twain: a smoking pipe, a boy whitewashing a fence. The whitewashing boy suggests that the white paint on the canvas is covering something up, introducing an even deeper level of mystery into the canvas.

The overwhelming white is isolating and lonely. Mark Twain suffered from severe depression, and this condition is clearly conveyed in Gahl’s starkly-white canvas with dabbles of gray paint.

Lines Like Legs is on view at Fjord through August 31, 2014. Fjord is a multifaceted gallery, studio, and art space located in South Kensington’s rising arts district, at 2419 Frankford Ave. It is open on Saturdays from 12 pm – 4 pm, or by appointment.