FORGING REFLECTIONS IN THE SUN
14 May - 18 June, 2022
Open House: 14 May 12 - 5 PM
Artist Talk: 19 May 6 - 7 PM
Forging Reflections in the Sun presents the works of Natalie Obermaier that are a result of her 2021 artist-in-residence at Full Circle Fine Art. The selected pieces - sculptures, paper weavings and solarized photographs - invites us to continually question and renew our perspectives, reorient the way we view ourselves, value each other, and displays layers of history and memory for us to radically reimagine the very thing we all inhabit our entire lifetime, our bodies and the surrounding environments around them.
Displayed in the Backroom gallery, the woven works demonstrate Obermaier’s technique and acts as a documentation of her performative and ritualistic way of making; highlighting the time and her energy put into the new remixed image. This focus on time itself - the time required in the selection, cutting, rearranging, and weaving - also summons contemplations on the time already applied to the crafting of the original photographs. By placing time at the forefront of the works, Obermaier directs us to slow down and to question not only our current speed we are experiencing things - a speed that seems to be rapidly increasing due to the internet, globalization, and other factors - but also to question these manufactured visual constructs that we are constantly inundated with.
These deconstructed and reconstructed images portray our current ideals of bodies and the identities that inhabit them. The bodies featured in Forging Reflections in the Sun highlights the visibility of specific bodies and the designation of them as transactional and performative. These original images often provide a scripted institutional display of inclusion and diversity that ultimately commodifies the Other and their bodies instead of demolishing and addressing the structures that underpin it. Her use of collage itself comments on the traditional definition of bodies and the constructs utilized for mass consumption and commercial use.
Across from this collection of collages is her newest body of work - solarized black and white photographs. The subject matter depicts portraits of both human and natural sitters. Contrasted with Obermaier’s weaving of constructed narratives, these new pieces examine both controlled constructions and natural occurrences. One such example can be seen in Nokke and Yucca #1. In Nokke, we see a human portrait comfortable and at rest. And in Yucca #1, we see the portrait of a yucca, almost human like but seemingly in a state of decomposition but still alive long after it started looking dead. Thus, Obermaier captures the personalities, auras, and narratives of her sitters.
The natural imagery found in Obermaier’s work is a contemplation on the larger and looming subject of climate change. This is demonstrated by her collection of images of birds (titled Where are all the birds) and yuccas - both disappearing populations. The collaboration we see Obermaier demonstrate in her earlier weavings (and her reappropriation of images) is shifted and extended into a collaboration with the natural environment and the often hidden and overlooked part of our surroundings.
The use of the solarization process also breaks down and comments on the process of photography - the capturing of light. Here, these works demonstrates the element of magic darkroom photography can still provide but also contrasts directly with the carefully crafted constructs found in Obermaier’s woven source materials.
Forging Reflections in the Sun brings together Obermaier’s older series and newest works to refocus our eyes to see beyond the carefully crafted and natural constructs that make up our current experiences.