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Unfolding Space at Floating World Gallery 1/20

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Floating World Gallery, in collaboration with architects Charlotte Page and Susan Conger-Austin, is proud to present Unfolding Space, a special installation opening January 20, 2012 and on view to the public for four weeks only. For this show, Page considers 12 architectural elements–described by models and drawings–viewed within an installation made of white, translucent, cloth panels reminiscent of shoji paper. Page’s work is complemented by an array of prints from the pre-eminent Japanese mezzotint artist Yozo Hamaguchi. Through the repetitive process of the mezzotint print, Hamaguchi’s work shows the subjectivity of representation: no single print fully describes the plate but is rather an interpretation of it. As views and spaces contract and expand while moving within the installation, the visitors vacillate between the third-person observation of models and drawings to a conscious experience of their own perceptions. They come to realize that no one person knows the space entirely, but each person defines a fragment of space.

“In a world where we are incessantly bombarded with information, education asserts itself as an authority on what is. Yet, each person’s knowledge remains merely a subjective assemblage of information. The student arranges pieces of information just as an occupant strings moments of architecture into a perceived space. In both cases, the whole is based on psychological associations and varies with each person.” Page says of the exhibit.

Unfolding Space addresses the question: is there a way to represent a place objectively? That is, can an object be seen without subjective interpretation? Can information be known without connotation? Or, is the object truly known by all subjective experiences seen as a whole? Melding techniques from cinema and analytical architectural drawing, Page unfolds each object in a series of ink drawings to reveal a spectrum of representation from the most objective to the most subjective.

Hamaguchi’s prints also illustrate this spectrum of subjectivity. Page notes, “the repetition of prints when seen as a whole–as an amalgamation of subjective perceptions–approaches a more objective understanding of an object as it is experienced over time in multiple conditions and moods.”

Ultimately, as a visitor moves through this constructed space and views the works, one becomes aware of the uniqueness of one’s own experience.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the College of Architecture at IIT.

Floating World Gallery is located at 1925 N. Halsted St., Chicago