June 8 2012
Picture: Ellen Jong
A reader sends in this gem, from an exhibition at the Allegra La Viola Gallery in New York of photographs by Ellen Jong. You wouldn't know it from the blurb, but the photos mainly show someone's erection.
The Invisible Line uses photography, video and poetry to document how Jong remembers falling in love over a four-year period leading up to her wedding day. The work is intimate and echoes the bold and provocative sentiment of Nan Goldin and Tracey Emin, but with the snapshot aesthetic of William Eggelston. Highly adept at interjecting private moments into a public space, Jong’s work provides a window into realized and uninhibited displays of passion.Where most people fail at being able to completely let go, Jong travels deep into the nether lands of love where her heart acts as a compass.
The photographs on view mimic pieces to a larger puzzle, offering micro-details of when and how Jong’s general existence and personal transition began to crystallize. Between the creation of each image and its pixel and grain, is a gesture of emotion that captures a dissolve and discovery of self, simultaneously. The images are uninhibited and demonstrate a form of passion seldom experienced in contemporary art, but universal to all.
Classic guff language. Take an abstract concept, cloak it in art-world legitimacy by name-checking other better-known artists, and then intersperse with useful guff-words like 'simultaneously'. In guff-land, things are always happening 'simultaneously'; it's a word that allows you to connect the totally random and unconnected.