Foil on offset prints on paper, painted frames, painted metal poles, ceramic beads, ribbons
20.625 x 52.5 x 14 inches
Installation dimensions: 20.625 x 52.5 x 14 inches
four framed works, each: 10.625 x 7.75 x 1.5 inches unique
In 'Collie (Chicks)', Elad Lassry continues to expand the philosophical category of the picture. The piece features appropriated magazine pages accompanied by a net-like sculpture. By juxtaposing the unique qualities of each image as an object with the repetition of their subject matter, Lassry raises questions about how we perceive photographs both as physical things and as agents for reproduction.
At what point does an anonymous dog become a particular character with distinguishable traits? Can the same question be asked of pictures, no matter what or whom they represent? As in many of his works that deal with animal actors, Lassry forces us to see the dogs as proxies for the viewer's own gaze, emphasizing how seeing and being seen are flip sides of the same paradoxical act, at once anonymous and specific to individual subjects. He also shows how pictures become metaphorical stand-ins for those subjects. Animals and people can be flattened out by photography, but confronting the picture as a unique (if repeated) object might restore some degree of physicality. What remains in question is whether that physicality is restored to the subject, or to the picture itself as an independent thing.
The net seems poised to catch the pictures, to provide them with a new kind of conceptual and physical framing that is more tangible even than Lassry's characteristic painted frames. While each individual picture is subjected to a process of abstraction set in motion by the frames (which draw out dominant color relationships and inscribe the image in the larger context of Lassry's practice), the net further reinforces the idea that we are dealing with objects that are pictures, and vice versa. The net itself is both an object and a picture, open to a multiplicity of readings: as a grid, as a two-dimensional geometrical form, and as a three-dimensional sculpture. Furthermore, the ceramic beads that hang from the net suggest the possibility of decorative use, as well as an array of commemorative associations. As a whole, this work is a wide-ranging visual essay on the ever-shifting threshold between picture and subject.