Vista Views

March 5, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018 to Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Hopkins Hall Gallery
Constantin Naismith

Reception: Friday, April 6, 6-7 PM
Admission is free and open to the public.

Vista Views is a continuation of Lyndon Barrois Jr.’s interest in the intersections of visual culture and cooperative team sports. The exhibition presents photographic prints, altered magazine compositions, and anthropomorphized sculptures that utilize CMYK halftone. These works highlight the material construction of images and suggest a collaborative nature to printing, as four distinct color matrices work together towards image resolution. 

The exhibition’s title is inspired by a line of dialogue from the film White Men Can’t Jump, where Rhonda Dean (played by Tyra Ferrell) points out the contradiction between the fantasy implied by her condo’s name Vista View and the reality of her living situation: “There ain’t no vistas, there ain’t no views, and there sure as hell ain’t no vista of no views.” The narrative of the film is driven by a series of false promises, both between loved ones attempting to better their lives, as well as in the arena of street basketball, where bets are won from half-court games of two-on-two. In some cases, masquerade tactics are used to obscure one’s identity and athletic ability in order to ‘hustle’ unsuspecting opponents.  

The film is also notable for the unlikely partnership of its two main protagonists, played by Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, whose initial friction and subsequent banter often rely on racial stereotypes. These exchanges underscore the tendency to correlate a body’s image to assumptions about its performance. Vista Views aims to draw parallels between the performative attributes of athletes and the formal qualities of commodities. As spectators, how often do we acknowledge the complexity of an individual, and how regularly do we reduce subjects to a shortlist of skill sets and physical attributes?

Vista Views is organized by Task of the Curator, Graduate Student Group, Department of History of Art.

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