Sean Capone: Black Night White Light
March 16 - April 18, 2018
HD video, 18:20 min, 2018
The exhibition’s centerpiece, a phantasmagoric portmanteau of Sean's new and existing video work that incorporates motion-capture, vocal performance, 3D animation, and a conspicuous overabundance of trompe l’oeil visual f/x. This work is Capone's contribution to the genre of fantasy and Sci-Fi that depicts automaton-like characters who are artificially (self-)conscious, polymorphic, and otherwise virtually ‘embodied’ performing roles that are alternately monstrous, spectral, philosophical, or shamanic in nature. The artist sought to create his own version of these archetypes: floating heads engaged in pontificating, satirical monologues, speaking through an absurd admixture of yearning, earnestness, and smug explication; entities which attempt to convince the viewer (or perhaps themselves) of their very authenticity, while struggling to maintain coherence within the artifice of their own screen-based reality. The dialogue is composed of a fragmentary word-heap of cryptic prognostications, emotional appeals, email-spam nonsense, troll rantings, and other forms of ’avatar poetics’.
HD video, 8:45 min, 2018
This piece is a projected animated marquis and/or futuristic ‘altarpiece’. Capone wanted something that would convey the semiotic/erotic energy of neon signage, mixed with the luminescent mosaic surface and architectural scale of stained-glass windows. It is simulated and adapted as a towering video mural; these totemic forms create a space of possibility for ritual energy, communion, and liberatory spectacle. Abstract poetic texts and pseudo-mystical sigils flicker, glow and stream across a morphing geometric topography.
The glowing geometric vectors of ‘neon art’, for the artist, connects the cool futurity of ‘80s science-fiction, video games and cyberspace architecture with the perceptual and spatial aesthetics of the Minimalist movement and California Light & Space artwork — a historical continuum of ‘spiritual light’, intersections of material & higher planes, from the mystical prismatic sprays of cathedral windows to the flickering strobes of discos and all-night raves.
HD animation, 2:53 min, 2018
This piece presents the flip side of the exhibition’s Cartesian dualism, an altogether different kind of virtual body: one that is gendered, naked, glistening and pleasure seeking, but headless, mute, and lonesome. The setting: a veiled back-room of creaking floorboards and meaty slaps of dancing feet, a peepshow into the erotic body-horror of the uncanny valley.