Hello, hello, can you hear me?
The gallery wall is lined with analog landline telephones of differing colors and styles, which ring at random intervals. Some of the phones "speak" to the interviewer and oddly, the non-live, pre-recorded quality of the voices on the line actually heightens one's sense of interaction with another sentient being albeit an agitated or hostile one.
Hello, Hello, can you hear me?
Another voice seems to be coming from a street payphone left dangling while something terrible is happening nearby. By rewiring and programming vintage phones to ring, as well as "speak" to visitors, EVONNE DAVIS draws on tropes from film and TV, citing the Twilight Zone, among other cultural artifacts, as an influence. The difficulties and urgency of communication also inspired freeform text works on paper made on a vintage typrwriter. Davis' presentation of large text based silkscreen prints also move freely between different modes of colloquial to clinical, isolating phrases out of context to create new potential narratives in a variety of emotional tones.
EVONNE DAVIS AND EMMA WILCOX - UNSEEN AND UNSPOKEN
New Works - 2016- April 7 thru May 26, 2016
at The Propect St. Firestation Gallery,
56 Prospect St, Newark, NJ 07105
EVONNE DAVIS and EMMA WILCOX have worked together for more than 10 years as co-founders of Gallery Aferro, showcasing the work of local, national and international artists. Each also has their own distinctive practice as a working artist. Unseen and Unspoken is an outtake from an ongoing dialogue between life, art, and place.
EMMA WILCOX , primarily known as a photographer, is concerned with environmental justice, land usage, eminent domain and the role of individual memory in the creation of local history.
In this new installation she presents text installation, sourced from land surveys, historical documentation, court and EPA documents and children's books related to Newark's 19th and 20th century industrial history. Wilcox writes: "I'm curious to see if 23rd century people fetishize the 21st century in the same way that 21st century people are festishizing the 19th." The Firestation Gallery, located in Newark's Ironbound neighborhood, is surrounded by sites of legacy pollution and the struggle for environmental justice from the 19th century forward. Wilcox will also attempt to pinpoint the source of an apocryphal story about Newark inventor Seth Boyden, illustrating the way narratives of the past are shaped to suit the preoccupations and beliefs of any given present.