Emily Roysdon: Positions
March 25-May 7, 2011
Art in General is pleased to present Positions, an exhibition of new and recent works by New York based artist Emily Roysdon (1977). For the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York, Positions brings together a body of work that culminates around the artists’ dialectic consideration of language, choreography and political representation. Emily Roysdon’s multidisciplinary practice has incorporated photography, print-making, performance and an extensive history of collaboration.
To take a position is both choreographic and discursive. This, alongside a consideration of the formal and public square, is the frame for Roysdon’s recent projects. This series of three new works is defined by a short-term and improvisational working method. The focus has been on developing and articulating a vocabulary of movement and applying gesture to shifting coceptualizations of site.
Central to the exhibition is Sense and Sense (2010), a site-specific project that the artist produced in Sergels Torg, a public square in Stockholm, Sweden. Sergels Torg is many things to the city — most notably, the site for all planned political protests and the defacto image of the city, it’s black and white triangular pattern coming to symbolize the city and the idea of the city. Approaching the site itself, Roysdon realized it is both a panopticon and an abstraction, provoking questions about planned use and the representation of ‘free movement’. Subsequently using Sergels Torg as the ground, Roysdon collaborated with performance artist MPA to produce a site specific performance from which she developed a photographic installation and a video diptych. One channel of the video focuses on MPA’s struggle to produce the illusion of movement, while the other gives context to the scale of the effort. The image series is plainly shaped by the photographers’ perspective on and presence in the square itself.
If I Don’t Move Can You Hear Me? is a series of square panels silkscreened with Roysdon’s movement vocabulary as well as deconstructed and overly assertive lines that are layered on both an empty ground and on top of geometric photographs of the Berkeley Art Museum. Each panel rests at 45 degrees along a long horizontal shelf, inserting a sense of movement, not only in the lines and figures themselves, but also in the weight of its form.
Created specifically for her exhibition at Art in General, Roysdon is creating three large silkscreened rectangular panels that lean — using the room as armature, and again exploring the weight of an image. Positions, for which the exhibition is titled, works between figure/ ground, the logic of the grid, and the repetition and accumulation of ungrounded figures.
Roysdon collaborated with Stockholm design collective Studio SM to produce a trio of posters documenting the artist’s working material and process. The third poster in the series, created especially for this exhibition, will be distributed to visitors.