Shining Bodies
2015
Melanie Flood Projects is pleased to present Shining Bodies, an exhibition by Richmond, Virginia based artist Justin James Reed, this is his first solo exhibition in Portland. Bringing together multiple aspects of his practice, Shining Bodies continues Reed’s exploration of the experiential nature of photographic based imagery and the boundaries of time through a series of new glass works, laser etching on paper, and black & white photographs. In addition to the exhibition, Reed will present a one night site specific installation of new video work, a series of projections into fog from 7- 9PM on Saturday, April 18th at S1.

Reliquaries, historically used as containers for holy ephemera of religious institutions, often provide framing and context for the items they encapsulate. Through the re-presentation of these objects, and by divesting them of their contents and original significance, Reed draws our attention to what they represent as an idea; a method of bringing theoretical beliefs into being and ascribing mystical powers to objects. The reliquaries were chosen by Reed for their formal and sculptural qualities. In medieval thought, obtaining knowledge through aesthetics was a common approach. Here works primarily allude to meaning through the ethereal qualities of glass and in relation to the photographic based imagery which comprise the rest of the exhibition.

Reed’s photographic works further conflate ideas of past present, real, and perceived. Experimentation with alternative printing processes is an underlying current in his practice. Pieces created from the emerging field of laser etching continue Reed’s material studies and investigations into the possibilities of new technologies. By burning away minute layers of paper, an image is slowly uncovered. Recalling ancient papyrus and the traces of fire required to create them, these works are somehow lost to the present, yet have no place in the past. A pair of black & white photographs are the final component of the exhibition. Drawn from Reed’s investigation into the sensorial qualities of the medium itself, they are at once highly representational, but remain abstract and cryptic.

Through this exhibition Reed asks us to consider how meaning is constructed. By leaving open the possibilities of interpretation and provenance, the space for the objects in this exhibition to reveal themselves is created.

Solo Exhibition
2015
Melanie Flood Projects, Portland, OR
Press release