After a decade of many group shows, numerous awards and reviews Francis Palazzolo presents his latest series of art, SYSTEMS APPEARANCES DOGMA TABOO, in a solo exhibit at The Proposition, 559 W. 22rd St. NYC. The exhibit includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, and the premiere of a 24 min. film he wrote and directed, entitled Intermediate Exercise. Regardless of his medium Palazzolo’s art displays dissimilar things together. This does not occur in an arbitrary manner; rather his art shows that contradictory things are intricately connected. In other words, the artwork shows that competing ideas and practices lead to each other and overlap. For instance, a middle verse is embedded in the terms of truth and falsity by organizing the words as falsETrue (this is also the title of a painting in the exhibit).
Palazzolo works in many disciplines and combines a variety of materials, techniques, characters, and styles to point out the confluence of opposites. Several elements recur throughout the series such as reflective and soft materials, i.e., baked on mirror coatings, lenses, foam rubber, bandages, and unstretched canvas. As well, he often uses the rebus tactic (when images stand in-place-of words). Palazzolo adds new significance to the rebus by unveiling that extra terrestrials, elves, and selves are always already within the building blocks of thought. In using the rebus as a sign of transgression in the analytic, he cleverly maintains the terms of opposing philosophies yet diffuses the stark division to an undecideable form.
Palazzolo goes on to unravel the possibilities of logic and criticism further. For example, when using tape measures as his medium in a Venetian blind his slippery lens points to the crossing of validation and decoration. Then with hair in a commercially gridded fashion he participates in the minimalist discussion about flatness by showing that the essential intersects with the superficial. To sensationalize his approach Palazzolo looks at the current state of world affairs. The suicide bomber personifies his combinational paradigm by “fusing” fundamental dogma with radical tactics and perverted beliefs. To give a historical perspective, Palazzolo traces the writing habits of Lewis Carroll. In a sculpture he offers the viewer a re-reading of Carroll’s Symbolic Logic and Alice in Wonderland at the same instant.
Many of the elements discussed thus far come together in Intermediate Exercise starring the Belgique actress Frederike Migom. These themes continue to develop as the film ventures into unexpected places. Ms. Migom plays the role of FAbrittniE TemplE, a fitness and health guru (she also plays TemplE’s alter ego characters). The plot, TemplE and her doppelgangers give alternative mind and body treatments to Americans who are struggling to get into shape. Ironically mind & body as philosophers understand the phrase, is also debated throughout the film.
The look of the art in SYSTEMS APPEARANCES DOGMA TABOO varies. This is consistent with Palazzolo’s exhibition history. Yet conceptually his art speaks with a specific voice. In the jargon of French Art Theory, his artwork traces the undecideable confluence of opposites. This defines his use of the practice of deconstruction. On the other hand to describe it scientifically, Palazzolo’s art represents the dimension of interrelationships. Either way it is discussed, he displays a slippery environment where possibilities abound.
Systems Appearances Dogma Taboo
March 5 - April 9, 2005