Jeffrey Stark is pleased to present Centre, a new installation by Paul Lee, on view from December 10, 2016 through January 5, 2017.
Lee’s steadfast visual language utilizes materials with shifting meanings. In his “Cinema Drawings” series of 2014, Lee paired contour drawings of figures created in darkness with strips of movie theater carpeting introducing a new element to his vocabulary. For Centre, Lee revisits this carpet once again, this time retooling his strategies and employing a common object for Lee – the lightbulb – their pairing resulting in a narrative plateau.
'I had a piece of cinema carpet on the floor of the studio and I kept looking at it with the lightbulbs on it. This combination weaves different narratives for me through a biographical timeline.
On the one hand it seemed to speak of my relationship to America from England before moving here in 2001. I am transported by the cinema carpet to the America I imagined as a child through Hollywood films such as E.T. The bulbs evoke the identity politics I understood through American artists of whom Felix Gonzalez-Torres was a central figure. The unlit bulbs here are transfused by the light within the space. The potential for light exists within the viewer's imagination as the bulbs appear in an anthropomorphic way as gathering individuals.
On the other hand I'm thinking of the cinema as a metaphor for the screen filled technological habitat we move through as people today. These lightbulbs and their potentially hazardous arrangement on the floor represent the idea of metaphorical rooms or ghosts of rooms that you might want to pick up and look into'.