Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tim Roda at the Greg Kucera Gallery
I wrote this a long time ago maybe a couple of years ago. I wrote it for a small mag in the UK, looking over it again now I can't help but laugh at my sensationalism. There is something so naive and cocky about it. Of course there is, my writing is to a degree still so but it is only because of my youth. I am cursed with my youth to be sure of the world.
See? I'm doing it again. Or maybe it's because I've been reading English writers lately; When you read an Englishman you can't help but laugh at sensationalism. Anywho here it goes:
Tim Roda at the Greg Kucera Gallery:
Most galleries are clean and sparse, sterile even. The Greg Kucera Gallery goes above and beyond, when you enter it feels absolutely lifeless. Footsteps heard in this gallery are the type of hollow steps that should only be heard in the dead of the night A barren world fit to be inhabited only by Tim Roda's photographs of family and play.
Trained at the University of Washington and currently residing in New York, Roda returns home with a show full of uncertain glances. Incorporating himself, his wife and children in most of the black and white photographs on display, he creates captivating and oddly complex portraits. The depictions insinuate classical themes which involve cut up cardboard, wooden spears and teeth gnashing all suggesting child's play. But once you look closer you find a sudden and arresting loneliness in these portraits. The ambiguity of the family's emotions appears to rest heavy on their games. Despite the confused look in Roda's eldest son's eyes or the lack of smile on his wife's lips the silliness about all these photos is only intensified by the subjects ostensibly serious minds.
Then walking amongst the living visitors to the Kucera Gallery's self imposed Dead Sea aesthetic ou come to a second realization. That Tim Roda is giving you an adult view on childishness but truly a view on the primal nature of man. From his son standing stoically, spear raised in a gesture of power against the sea or the family roasting a humongous fake pig, belly splayed open; to the brutality of kings and knights swept far away from reason in passionate actions. His displays of mankind's descent into anger seem dangerous yet forgiving, Tim Roda shows us tangled in loneliness, in joy and in the primitive; all the way to our pasts of solitude in our animal selves and back.