Ctrl [Alt] Self at Westobou Gallery, Augusta

By June 18, 2022
Still from Lucia Riffel, lull, 2022; 3D animation film. Courtesy the artist.
Douglas Baulos: Night’s Hand on Your Shoulder on view now at Swan Coach House
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Installation view of Brittany M. Watkins, Source Unknown, 2022; found objects and mixed media with paint and light. Courtesy the artist.
Installation view of Brittany M. Watkins, Source Unknown, 2022; found objects and mixed media with paint and light. Courtesy the artist.

Today, many people are steeped in a constant flow of information circulated by a variety of media. Whether online or off, the scrolling content transfers from person to person, moving from screen to memory and back. The message streams from all angles. An inundation of the virtual motivates consumption in the material world. The digital realm feels inescapable to the extent that closing or turning off our devices does not completely shield us from the constant flow. We are enveloped in distraction seeking to find interiority.

Ctrl [Alt] Self refers to each individual’s search for a place that rests between interiority and exteriority. This exhibition features an interwoven dialogue between three female artists: Brittany M. Watkins, Lucia Riffel, and Elise Thompson. Installation, painting, and video place the audience on a subliminal plane where separate parcels of time and space depict facets of human interaction with the feed. Lucia Riffel fabricates environments made up of digital animations, which look into the meditative nature of swiping through digital space. Brittany M. Watkins’ colorful and lush installations take a critical look at the lasting effects of social media and the external world on the psyche. These works coalesce conceptually with relation to the colorful, sculptural, and abstract paintings by Elise Thompson. Her representations of interiority comment on disclosure as it responds to the continuous current of stimuli in daily life.

We all possess a psychological world; this is the area where we exist inside of our heads, but what are the effects of digital domains on the cognitive sphere? Each person responds differently to the presence of a virtual reality. This response lies somewhere between consciousness and the external realm, which extends beyond the body. The audience will experience emotional instability as they move between contemplation, bliss, and mental unrest when viewing each artist’s work. Ctrl [Alt] Self offers spaces for reflection on the growing dependence and relationship with digital environments through color-scapes, light, and sound.

from the exhibition text

Elise Thompson, Bluff, 2022; acrylic on Dura-Lar illustration board paper and clear vinyl, 36 inches by 24 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Installation view of Lucia Riffel, halycon, 2022; 3D animation film. Courtesy the artist.
Brittany M. Watkins, System Preferences, 2022; acrylic, watercolor, and pastel on paper with archival acrylic top coat, 12 inches by 12 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Douglas Baulos: Night’s Hand on Your Shoulder on view now at Swan Coach House
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Elise Thompson, Cycle, 2022; acrylic and glass beads on Dura-Lar illustration board paper and clear vinyl, 48 inches by 36 inches. Courtesy the artist.
Still from Lucia Riffel, halycon, 2022; 3D animation film. Courtesy the artist.
Brittany M. Watkins, Doom Scrolling, 2022; acrylic and pastel on paper with archival acrylic top coat, 12 inches by 12 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Ctrl [Alt] Self, curated by Allison Westerfield, is on view at Westobou Gallery in Augusta, Georgia through August 6, 2022.

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