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Animal Logic: Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw, Paul Sydorenko, Squeak Carnwath

October 13 – November 11, 2011

Monroe-Brown Gallery


Don Desmett, Curator

In his novella "Animal Farm," one of George Orwell's most striking achievements is his representation not just of the characters in power but also of the oppressed people themselves. "The story is told from the perspective of the common animals as a whole. Animal Farm demonstrates how the inability or unwillingness to question authority condemns the working class to suffer the full extent of the ruling class's oppression.

The collaborative team of Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw, known as much for their Brooklyn based Jen 'n' Outlaw's Fish Fry Truck "performances" as the series of photographs that spoof Baroque still life painting, gluttony, and upper class extravagances like banquets of over indulgence. While socially over the top, Catron and Outlaw's photographic narratives take on the appearance of a whole lot of fun!

Squeak Carnwath, a west coast based painter utilizes metaphor and depiction in her works to express the consciousness of life in its primary form. Acting as a contemporary alchemist, Carnwath, through her art, transforms objects and events of the everyday into symbols of the universal and the spiritual. Modest objects that portend signifiers; the interrelationships of humans and other living beings; emotions and perceptions; and the elements of the physical and of time.

Paul Sydorenko, a Cleveland based artist works on up to fifty pieces at once, using a wide variety of techniques such as silkscreen, plant dyes, whiskey spit byte, vinyl negatives, etc. The sculptural installations contain floor paintings as pedestals, large sewn stuffed animal heads that contain televisions displaying various videos as their faces. Trained as a classical guitarist, he also creates soundtracks for his works, which range from simple piano melodies to full ensemble electronic video game music.

Almost childlike in representation, Sydorenko mixes childish objects of sweetness with all to human confrontations of the environment, violence and self-examinations. Juxtaposed with the painterly images of bunnies and roaming spaces in Carnwath's paintings, or the luscious extravagance of Catron and Outlaw's over the top life as food scenarios, Sydorenko's lush animal heads might seem the furry taste that ties all of the Animal Logic exhibition together… if that's the point at all.