Upon entering Gracie DeVito’s first two week solo exhibition at TIF SIGFRIDS, you might find yourself startled at the sparseness of the space, particularly if you had the chance to witness the collective energy and Hollywood scale spectacle of last year’s saloon-cum-film set performance piece in the gallery. (Nothing to clear the mind like getting the shit kicked out of you from time to time, August, 2014) Here we are met with something that looks more like an empty room aside from the arrangement of miniature sculptures below and a winding crimson track above.
Not more than a few miles from here, a system of large red ducts wrap around the newest buildings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Exposed beams and tubular “red machines” (as architect Renzo Piano calls them) in LACMA’s courtyard become the muse for a kinetic installation, the site of a possible performance. Which brings us to where we find ourselves now. Standing underneath the high ceilings of a Hollywood gallery with a mechanical cloud hovering above, raining down from the path of its serpentine track as it comes to meet us at the door. An assembly of maquettes, ruminations, and finely-tuned atmospheric conditions revolve around the viewer, implicating them in a vast and unfolding logic that is never entirely available.
In the course of two weeks DeVito relinquishes her centrality, instead preferring to establish the scene of an unspecified event. Here characters endure in a defenseless fashion, scale shifts in multiple and incongruous directions, and objects inhabit a theatrical elasticity. As many performers have a language of disappearance - a burst of smoke, or some other sleight of hand - DeVito has presented us with her own in an instance of dematerialization and transformation loaded with metaphor. Like the comic strip cloud that follows the lone pondering soul, DeVito creates a means for engaging the gallery visitor in an open-ended dialogue while broadening her vision of performance.
Gracie DeVito (b.1985) lives and works in Los Angeles. She has performed and exhibited work recently at 356 Mission, Commonwealth and Council, Claremont College, and The Torrance Art Museum. She both curated and performed in a performance weekend at ltdlosangeles. Gracie received an MFA from CalArts in 2012.