Jackie Kazarian’s exhibition immediately brings to mind the phrase “accidental landscapes,” where thick paint could stand in for water or land. However, it becomes clear that Kazarian isn’t using mere chance to compose the paintings but rather she deliberately fluctuates and tampers the surfaces in order to express an image of nature. The paintings, particularly those in watercolor and ink, are reminiscent of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy. But Kazarian breathes new life into this method with a chaotic movement. It is as if the encapsulated fields of space house various components of nature and are altered by some meteorological force. Subsequently the landscapes are either being created or destroyed. “Overflow,” a video created in 2007 and commissioned by the Chicago-based dance company The Seldoms documents Kazarian in a forty-five-minute studio painting session. The piece contains music by Richard Woodbury and syncopates to the cadence of the score. Kazarian’s hand is removed by way of video editing throughout the duration of the film and the act of painting is seamlessly sewn together. In this manner, the film presents an ambiguity found in the paintings, highlighting the uncertainty of nature and its mysterious innerworkings. (Karissa Lang)
Through April 12 at Alfedena Gallery, 434 W. Ontario.