002 / 04 August 2014 / ARTICLES
Tabula Rasa x gasoline.xxx
at Vandervoort Studio
Text by Sabrina Tamar
On Saturday June 28, Tabula Rasa Magazine teamed with gasoline.xxx and Vandervoort Studio to launch the first in a series of gallery events. The first show, A/PART, explored the dimensions of individuality inherent in isolation—from the abstract to the highly intimate.
Among the featured artists were Issue I contributors Michael Donovan, Elena Montemurro, and Jake Sigl, who showcased personal work. For Montemurro, it was a series of self-portraits in which she turned the lens on herself to reveal a range of aesthetic and psychological dimensions. For Michael, it was a selection of images from his most recent work, which deviates from his fashion background to explore more organic forms and experimental compositions, from landscapes to body parts. Jake’s featured work, portraits of his frequent muse and collaborator, Lauren, recalled John Singer Sargent’s paintings and explored his subject’s relationship to nature and solitude.
Tabula Rasa also had the pleasure of welcoming photographer Arielle Berman, who showcased a work from two series, Moonscapes and Distant Hue—exploring the physical properties of space and composition with her monochromatic renderings of banal landscapes—making them seem as alien, yet beautiful, as the individuals placed within the frame.
Co-organizers gasoline.xxx, a New York based photography collective, installed a large scale collage, featuring work from over twenty photographers amassed a whole, representing eclectic styles and subject matter, crafted together as one cohesive work. Founded by Sam Rock, the concept of gasoline.xxx, is, in his own words, “a set of blogs on one website, curated independently but seen together.” In the spirit of community and collaboration from London’s photography scene in the ‘80s, gasoline.xxx allows its members to showcase more personal and experimental work within a supportive platform.
Later in the evening, a film by Tabula Rasa contributor Irwin Barbé, “She’s Afraid” was projected as the sun started to go down. Using imagery that plays on the viewer’s expectations (such as subdued cinematic clichés in horror and thriller films) the experimental work is a visual poem, lacking a true narrative, yet constantly provokes the viewer with its use of light, empty space, and pacing.
Sound was a critical aspect of the show, including the premiere of an exclusive mitxtape by Paris-based DJ Vrgr (CLFT) who composed an auditory voyage of samples, sounds, and deconstructed tracks to create an ambiance both atmospheric and slightly industrial. Later, DJ Joshy (Josh da Costa of Regal Degal / Terrible Records) and Tom Roy both stepped behind the turntables, executing seamless sets that gave new depth and context to the artwork around them.
As the afternoon turned to dusk, a crowd of creative guests enjoyed cocktails by D&D Apothecary while making their way from the gallery space to the rooftop until the sun finally went down. It was one of those rare, idyllic summer evenings, but just one of many more events to come.