Ironton is proud to host Willhite with Real Pictures. Conceptual, elegant and wry, in this exhibit he questions the possibility of words as images. This is his second show at Ironton:
In Phenomenology of Perception, Maurice Merleau-Ponty claims that “the perceived, by its nature, admits of the ambiguous, the shifting, and is shaped by its context.” It is the ambiguous, shifting and context-driven then that one may consider to be the actual, or “real”. Being at a remove from the real (and calling into existence what they will), texts and images pose additional difficulties and opportunities for understanding through the interpretation of each. With Real Pictures, Marc Willhite sets these notions into play. The title of the exhibition questions words as representations (and more specifically the possibility of images of words) and refers directly to the transformation that text undergoes in being read. We generally look at a picture of a tree and say, "That's a tree" not "That's a picture of a tree," though we don't mistake the picture for a real tree. But what about a picture of words? (Is there such a thing?) We don't see it as a picture at all, rather we say, "It says...". And here, primarily, the word "it" refers to the words themselves and their meaning, to definitions. But "it" also refers to the ground, the surface or support upon which the words appear, and this is thematic for this body of work. Drawing attention to this double meaning, the strength of the work depends not on ambiguity but on its deliberate unplaceability, or rather its multi-placeability, highlighting the interaction between the supposed intelligible directness of text and the direct presence of physical materials with all of their visual and tactile seductions.- Marc Willhite, 2014
The exhibit runs though September 6th, 2014.
Michael Paglia writes about Willhite's previous show at Ironton here.