Monday, December 19, 2011

Rusty Scruby: "Memory Bytes" at Cris Worley Fine Arts

Self Portrait, photo reconstruction, 2011

Photography has allowed the average person to capture moments of their lives to hold as souvenirs or markers of important events. Some photos are intended to simply document a moment in time or the image of a loved one or even ones self. The understood application of capturing these images is to enable one to reconnect with that memory at a later date in time. The photographs are stored in albums, scrapbooks or digital files for future reference. This common practice of image capture, filing, and later recovery sets up the dynamic for Rusty Scruby's latest exhibition "Memory Bytes" at Cris Worley Fine Arts.

Scruby delves into his family photo album once again to create new works that challenge the viewer to consider the loss and recovery of visual information. Prevalent thought claims that traditional photographs accurately depict reality. However, photographers such as Susan Sontag argue that a photograph fails to capture enough information about its subject to fully represent reality. Scruby takes Sontag's thought a step further as he utilizes processes which subtract visual details from the original photos.

 Dad - River, photo reconstruction, 2011

Learning to Fish, photo reconstruction, 2011

Scruby does not attempt to present straight forward photographs. Rather, his images take a backseat to the mathematical and musical concepts he is portraying with each work. He chooses images that have a universal commonality, such as family members out for a day at the river and photos from school yearbooks. In doing so, he opens discussion regarding at what point is an image recognizable, to a degree, without being a literal representation.

Dock Instalation detail

In "Memory Bytes" Scruby plays with the full range of scale that he has created to dissect these ideas. In "Dock Installation" Scruby utilizes specific selected sections of an in-focus photograph of a boat dock on the island of Kwajalein. The viewer can see the recognizable elements of the original photo - the horizon line, boats, the silhouettes of two people, and clouds - while the majority of the clouds and sparkling waves have been lost only to be recovered by the viewers subconscious.

Diver, photo reconstruction, 2011

Scruby works the other end of the spectrum in "Diver". The original photo has been reduced to pixels approximating the average color for each facet that he then painstakingly handcuts and subsequently reassembles using his own simulated knitting process. The colors of the mid twentieth century objects reverberate in the hexs and circles that dominate the surface of the piece.

 Mom, photo reconstruction, 2011

Dad, photo reconstruction, 2011

The same process rings true in pieces such as "Dad" and "Mom" even though the colors used in these works is only a range of sepia tones. 

 Red Blouse with White Flowers, photo reconstruction, 2011

Lisa, photo reconstruction, 2011

Again, the viewer confronting "Red Blouse with White Flowers" or "Lisa" is left to their own devices to recover enough visual information to discern the image, which in turn sets up multiple paths of information recovery in the viewer's mind. The viewer may begin to believe that the original image was pulled from their own family album.

Touch, photo reconstruction, 2011

"Memory Bytes" is on view at Cris Worley Fine Arts throught December 21.

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