Bilaterography

Many of Seattle’s galleries are closed this week, however a notable few are pushing through.  This week is your last chance to see the Old, Weird America show at the Frye—read Amanda Manitach’s delectable tangent here—as well as the excellent shows at SOIL, including Jennifer Zwick‘s Bilaterography in the Backspace.

Jennifer Zwick - Kyra and Lynzi

Jennifer Zwick. Kyra and Lynzi. Photograph, 2009.

In this series, Zwick presents “photographs of symmetry, both found and created.”  While bilateral symmetry provides the underlying structure for all of these images, it is the inclusion of varying degrees of asymmetry that provides their subtle dynamism.

On investigation, it soon becomes clear that the whole field [of symmetry] is hedged about with paradox. To begin with, any notion of symmetry is completely entangled with that of asymmetry; we can scarcely conceive of the former without invoking thoughts of the latter…  -David Wade: Symmetry the Ordering Principle.

Jennifer Zwick - Saya's Sink

Jennifer Zwick. Saya's Sink. Photograph, 2009.

It is a similar sort of dynamic asymmetry that gives much religious art its mystical power.  Like the Eternal Serpent coiled around the Tree of Knowledge—a symbol which predates its appearance in Genesis by many centuries—the subtle presence of asymmetry entices the mind to “become like God,” transcending its own structural duality.

Adam and Eve with the Serpent

Adam and Eve with the Serpent. Mosaic, c. 12th/13th c., Sicily.

(Much, much more on myth, duality and the brain from De Novo.)   Bilateralography is on view at SOIL through January 2.  Happy New Year, y’all!

~ by emilypothast on December 31, 2009.

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