Cirrus is pleased to present Liar Channel, Brice Bischoff’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. In drawing from the urban storefront and its familiar yet overlooked signage, the installation of photographic and architectural structures, videos and fiberglass sculptures considers how the experience of place is shaped by way of light, reflection and architecture.
The exhibition takes as its starting point a discovery Bischoff made while on a routine walk. Coming across a window that was empty except for a plastic ribbon, with white and red stripes, he noticed the ribbon formed a ‘/’ roughly from the top right corner to the bottom left corner. The glass of the window reflected architecture from across the street, and below, Clear Channel’s logo had been vandalized. The ‘C’ had been blacked out erasing it, the three horizontal lines of the ‘E’ in ‘CLEAR’ had also been blacked out to create an ‘I’. The logo had been transformed from ‘CLEAR Channel’ into ‘LIAR Channel’. This trajectory of visual codes sparked an inquiry into our perception of real space and the resonant qualities of the familiar.
In the installation, we see structural elements taken from the common window storefront, such as the aluminum frame or the stucco base, to guide us through a visceral experience of the city. But where a glass window should be, there is a photogram and photograph. While the photographs are of various storefronts found by the artist while navigating Los Angeles, the photograms are created by exposing dismantled neon signs onto light sensitive paper. The information in these works has been digitized into pixels and burned onto film, manipulated and hacked with software and electricity, mapped and traced, and printed with ink and chemicals. Like Man Ray’s rayographs, Bischoff uses the process of making a photogram to create an abstract work. While Man Ray’s photograms employed the object itself, the gestural blues in Bischoff’s photograms are created by the light from the disused neon sign.
While the photogram brings to mind Man Ray, the use of the storefront is reminiscent of Christo’s 1960s Storefront series. While Christo’s concealed storefronts denied access to content, Bischoff’s Liar Channel reveals numerous layers. In Computer Repair, we believe we are seeing the reflection of our background in what would appear to be a photograph behind glass. It isn’t until further investigation that we realize the photograph is not behind glass, and the landscape actually exists within the image. This subtle scene-within-a-scene situates the viewer within the frame of the photograph, while physically wedging them between the information in the window and their own background.
This inquiry into the depths of an image can be seen as a parallel to how we engage with social media in our everyday. Accompanying Bischoff’s storefronts, are resin sculptures whose reflective surface is translated as luminous when flash photographed by the viewer. This type of interaction negates the objectness of the sculpture, as its image is co-opted and negotiated on the web. As the work is taken out of the non-virtual environment, similar to the experience of passing a window storefront, its presence becomes a ghostly afterimage of the viewer’s experience.