BLANC Gallery is pleased to present “Involuntary. Loss(y). Privacy,” a two-person exhibition featuring Chicago artists, STEPHEN FLEMISTER and JULIAN WILLIAMS, on display May 11 – July 21, 2012. An opening reception will be held Friday, May 11 from 6pm to 9pm at Blanc Gallery, 4455 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60653. 773.952.4394
“Involuntary. Loss(y). Privacy” is a timely compilation of works that looks at the Internet’s evolving impact on our daily lives and the ways in which we are unintentionally identified/identifiable by data that is collected, captured and stored. Recent events in the national news media about racial profiling remind us of just how powerful a single fleeting image or profile can be in determining whether one is labeled menace or martyr. Stephen Flemister and Julian Williams are deeply invested in using portrait painting as a vehicle for exploring this duality.
The exhibition’s title centers on American society’s increasing willingness to give up the right to control personal information via the Internet and social media. In information technology, lossy compression is a term that refers to a data encoding procedure that minimizes the amount of data that is needed to make an image file legible. Each time a file is compressed, data is discarded and resolution is lost. For this exhibition however, lossy has taken on many different meanings for Flemister and Williams: Loss of self; a loss of innocence; the reduction of a person down to a vague likeness; an identity that is unrecognizable, minimized, and mistaken. Both artists start with digital imagery of unknown Black subjects as their source material but arrive at very different conceptual places.