The Proposition is pleased to present the first New York solo show of artist, David Lee Servoss. The question of identity is raised and examined in a monumental installation, “Armstice” (2002) and is further explored in an earlier video, “David” (2001).
To quote the artist: “A year ago I decided to make some simple cameos representing my cross lineage. Here I am a year later with two busts, three flags, 3,000 army men, and my mother’s and father’s blood on the gallery floor. And the same crossed lineage. In addressing my own duality, I’ve come up with this. Growing up, I heard about these two kings in my bloodline from my mother and from my father, yet I was living a pauper’s life. I’ve always felt that in my blood, I serve these myths. But in the end, the pas ¸t serves me.
In this installation, Servoss presents two opposing busts ( self-portraits in the likeness of his ancestors: China, Yuan Shi Kia; USA, James Monroe) with a pile of 3,000 army men at their feet (also self-portraits and handcrafted). Cords soaked with his parents’ blood bind the two together, draped on the floor. The conflict of cross-cultural breeding is confronted head on.
In the video, “David”, which is a motion study, Servoss visits site-specific places of personal significance – mostly in the mid-west, Coal City, Illinois, his place of birth; Chicago, where most of the Lee flamily now lives; Interlochen, Michigan, his first kiss; and Brooklyn, where he currently resides. Each place holds a personal narrative, which Servoss is weaving into a mythology so as to ask what places we remember and why we remember them.
Servoss designates himself the center of the camera’s orbit as he whirls it over and around his head from a sling. Although simple, the effect is dizzying. Crucial to the success of the piece is the sling which holds the lens in a fixed position. Appearing as a series of three lines that converge to a point, it fixes the image to the frame. But as a stable element, it makes the motion in the frame all the more uncanny.
December 10, 2002 - January 18, 2003
David Lee Servoss