MICROSCOPE GALLERY is very pleased to present Ellipsis, our second solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Allison Somers. Concerned with the constant awareness of the past that each of us brings into our present lives, Somers’ engages image as totem to history and memory in three new videos recorded in Cyprus and Tuscany and featuring the ruins of temples from the cult of Aphrodite and the roofless abbey iconized in Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Nostalghia.
In these video works, as well as in photographs of artifacts in museums from Paris to Beirut, Somers employs the viewpoint of the traveler, foreigner, or outsider to contemplate the “there but invisible” information to be deciphered and the gaps between what is, what was, and what we already know. Of special interest are the forgotten memories of historical sites, acts of deconsecration, and the (often) foreign and sacred terrain of the lover or the love object.
The apparatuses and processes of film, video, and photography — both analog and digital — are an obsession of Somers’ and play an integral role in her works. The artist’s choices such as slowed frame rates; the use of black & white and extreme contrast; and meticulously framed sequential shots result in moving image works of an intermediate form somewhere between still photos and cinema, the effects of which leave the viewer confronting the passage of time. Somers’ photographs are hand-developed and printed several times from negative to positive until the ancient artifact is stripped of its original context, leaving behind a freed image for new and personal discovery.
ALLISON SOMERS was born in Los Angeles and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She works primarily with photography and moving image and has previously exhibited at Microscope Gallery, White Box, Participant Inc., Emily Harvey Foundation, Front Room Gallery, 80WSE Gallery, Scaramouche Gallery among others. Somers received an MFA from New York University in 2010.
Still from Your Ellipsis My River, video, color, sound, 5:21 min, 2012 – © Allison Somers
Solar, 14 x 11 inches, hand-processed b&w print, 2012, unique – © Allison Somers