We communicate experiences and thoughts through language but even then words can fall flat. Taking inspiration from a sonic oddity, CC Calloway and Bradley Marshall’s two-person show Antiphase at THE END Project Space explores a phenomenon that occurs when two exact opposite soundwaves collide – absolute silence. A familiar face saying something we can’t hear, a 3-D network punctuated with almonds, together it all feels like a mysterious dream.
The exhibited works are rooted in their own devices, as each respects their own principles of language, symbolism, scale, process, and material. In Calloway’s work Forever (2023), the interiors of the image are translated from a celebrity video to risograph to inkjet print. There’s a static message trying to break through into clarity. Meanwhile Marshall pulls from a personally charged library of conventional symbology that he draws together into steel sculpture. His intimate schematic-like structures function almost like scientific maps directing a disentanglement puzzle game.
The space embodies equalization throughout its installation. Located in an alternative space and curated in collaboration with the gallery’s director Craig Drennen, the exhibition offers two works from each artist. A total of two prints and one sculpture hang on the wall. The fourth piece is a sculpture poised on the gallery floor. In addition to exhibiting an equal amount of pieces, the artists push their commitment to achieving a visual antiphase one step further. They chose to divide the space evenly in half, split around the midpoint, top to bottom.
Altogether the space emanates a visceral aura. Punk. Almost no color, all black, except for patches of painted miniatures. The artists have spent time in many cities along the East Coast and throughout the South, including New York City, Austin, and near the gallery’s location in Atlanta. If the show was a song it could be Richard Hell & the Voidoids’s “Blank Generation.” Like the No Wave art movement from which the proto-punk track originated, the work refuses to commit to any single proclamation. Alternatively, it insists on being absolutely free to be whatever it wants. Either way its oscillation is its battle cry. It pulls us together.
Both Calloway and Marshall have multi-disciplinary practices. Calloway uses video, print, and poetry to explore identity and authorship. These aspects exist in a state of fluidity. Waves wash away the subtext of a woman’s lips, a dialogue lost in translation. The images here are photographed from a screen, then printed as risographs, and finally scaled and exhibited as inkjet prints. The subtitle reads: “been stuck.. with her ever since.” In their artist talk, Calloway revealed that the distantly familiar face in one work is that of Paris Hilton from a documentary where she discusses her life and the persona she has come to feel trapped in.
Pop culture is the means through which Calloway is piecing together recognizable milestones for us to follow. Scale creates a portal. In the small print, we are looking at her. And then, in poster-scale, she is looking out at us. On the other hand, Marshall’s visual language relies on a quotidian symbology—a bed, a campfire, a small brown bird perched on an almond. His work uses these motifs to shoot the breeze. Marvel at the outdoors, tell a joke, eat a snack. For Marshall, as observed in Scouting (2023), scale creates a wry humor and steel rods organize his thoughts.
Beaming, angsty, yearning. I don’t know if an exhibition is ever for everyone. Personally, I grew up just north of Atlanta and was introduced to art through local events like the Inman Park Festival, then by choice while studying photography at Georgia State. In school I developed my idea of the way things should be – reading humanistic texts like the collected interviews of Henri Cartier-Bresson.
As structured languages fail to fully verbalize or express who we are or what we want to say, we can repurpose symbols and poems to communicate our experiences. What drew me into these artists’ work was their thesis that silence might be nothingness. And yet while standing in this space, instead of finding a peaceful stillness, I found myself buzzing with more questions than answers.
Despite imperfect means to express our thoughts we connect regardless. Luckily we try, try again, try better.
Antiphase, an exhibition by CC Calloway and Bradley Marshall at THE END Project Space in Atlanta is on view through August 18, 2023.
Disclaimer: Craig Drennen, director of THE END Project Space, is a member of Burnaway’s board. Editorial decisions on coverage and consideration are made independently of advertising or board relationships.
Burnaway’s Atlanta reviews are supported by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ Municipal Support for the Arts program.