The low down

The low down
Caroline Allison, Danica Favorito, Jeffrey Grauel
April 30-May 28, 2011

Part of our American legacy is the truism that there are two sides to every story. Some illuminated soul claimed the third side: your way, my way, and the Truth. Became lyrics to a bunch of songs in the 90’s. Subjectivity remains contested, and so we have stories from endless points of view. Sometimes there’s still a melody.

Famous people have the tell-all because we know there is a truth they conveniently left hiding. We don’t trust that we have the real deal until there is something unexpected, uncanny. But how much space is there for demanding something novel inside the story of things we already know? How do we recognize revelation? After all, the truth of some things isn’t there unless it is gilt and florid because that’s how we found it. Stark is edited as much as pretty things are decorated. And the truth doesn’t just float above the world, separated from situation and nuance. 

Caroline Allison tells us stories we think we already know, and gleefully squares us off with uncanny discoveries. Danica Favorito tells us such small fragments that we only have responses left to hold on to, and then she taunts us for trusting our emotions. Jeffrey Grauel also toys with not telling us anything. Unless, that is, we believe him. If we do there are lifetimes at stake. Each artist has edited to the point that cold and hard rings consistently true. Each artist dances with lushness and layer, texture, unexpected beauty, scars, lingering leftovers, and suspension of disbelief. At the end of it, though, we are left holding our own bag. What remains inside that we are so willing to carry?