Artists: Keren Benbenisty, Sari Carel, TR Ericsson, Jorge De LA Garza, Gonzalo Lebrija, Dana Levy, Matthew Schreiber, Melanie Smith
Exhibition title: Residual Historical Haunting
Curated by: Roxana Fabius and Humberto Moro
Venue: Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York, US
Date: September 7 – October 9, 2016
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York
Johannes Vogt Gallery is pleased to present Residual Historical Haunting, a group show featuring the work of Keren Benbenisty, Sari Carel, Jorge De La Garza, TR Ericsson, Gonzalo Lebrija, Dana Levy, Matthew Schreiber, and Melanie Smith curated by Roxana Fabius and Humberto Moro. The exhibition presents a constellation of works by eight artists and revolves around the notion of cultural ghosts: that which survives beyond any mere existence returns through a phantasmic and phantastic revenant temporal scheme, whether through the memory of art or the art of memory, stage the phantoms of history in a performative projection of the trace of historicity .
The works in the exhibition contain recognizable forces that have been unconsciously absorbed through cultural consumption, and are inherent to how we read and see the world. The objects and spirits planted among our territories serve as archaeological ruins that guide our readings of the past. Their materiality exposes us both to those histories forgotten and those remembered.
Keren Benbenisty activates the notion of ruin by presenting a physical body that is residual to a previous existence yet absolutely contemporary. Sari Carel mourns for what is lost by establishing a milieu through lost sounds. Jorge De La Garza compresses temporalities through the juxtaposition of historical images, and creates a space of uncanny reflection. TR Ericsson materializes intangible relations between people, and historicizes a family, alluding to the organization of objects that transform the human body into an artwork.
Gonzalo Lebrija trivializes our conceptions of efficient machinery through the simplification of materials. Dana Levy contrasts the ideas of almost perfect architectural programming to the unexpected behaviour of nature. Matthew Schreiber records and compresses space into alternate three dimensional reality, where a phantasmatic presence is crystallized in a specific location. Melanie Smith’s layered painting wants to get a hold of human life, diagrams that could be compared to metaphysical interconnections, addressing a disperse materiality while using textures that could be perceived as ungraspable.
The spectral (and aspirational) paths through which we navigate the everyday of life, are defined by the utopian legacies of modernism; this never-coming reign of modern order and virtue is simultaneously existing in our constant desire/longing, and, in a ghostly intermediate space, as the -ever-present- ghost of an insufficient past.
 Wolfreys, Julian, “Ghosts: Of Ourselves or, Drifting with Hardy, Heidegger, James and Wolf” in Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture, edited by María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren, The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc., U.S., 2010.
Gonzalo Lebrija, Albali, 2016
Paper, 150 x 115 cm (59″ x 45 1/4″)
Matthew Schreiber, Cassadaga 2, 2010
Glass, light, 10 x 11.5 inches (25.40 x 29.21 cm)
Melanie Smith, Peluca 4, 2015
Oil and encaustic on MDF, 47 x 30 cm (18 1/2″ x 11 3/4″)
Melanie Smith, Diagram 24, 2015
Acrylic enamel and encaustic on MDF, 35 x 42 cm (13 3/4″ x 16 1/2″)
Melanie Smith, Nube 5, 2015
Oil and encaustic on MDF, 28 x 30.5 cm (11″ x 12″)
Melanie Smith, Cat 6, 2015
Oil and encaustic on MDF, 32 x 29 cm (12 5/8″ x 11 3/8″)
Melanie Smith, Diagram 11, 2015
Oil and encaustic on MDF, 40 x 28 cm (15 3/4″ x 11″)