Lucy Raven is a multimedia artist known for her revelatory and incisive explorations of the human labor and technology that shape popular imagery. In “Low Relief,” her current solo exhibition at the Columbus Museum of Art, organized by the museum’s associate curator and Document Arts Editor Drew Sawyer, two of the artist’s video installations are shown alongside a gallery of images from CMA’s photography archive. These works depict labor scenarios that are well on their way to obsolescence: anonymous silhouettes of white-collar men in overcoats and fedoras hang adjacent to more romantic celebrations of the factory line and blue-collar grit. The inclusion of the photos, says the artist, is to “suggest the potential of relief in and from the workplace.”
Raven continually addresses the meaning of relief throughout her exhibition. In an illustrated lecture—one of Raven’s most effective methods of presentation—the artist draws a line between the fabrication of depth in traditional bas-relief sculpture within Indian and American traditions to that which is simulated in the tedious post-production work of stereoscopic 3D films in and for the same regions. Each of her compelling pieces divert attention from what we see, to how we’ve arrived at seeing—a welcome relief from our accepted modes of image consumption.
During the exhibition’s run, Raven will also present “Tales of Love and Fear” in New York in the fantastically ornate Veterans Room at the Park Avenue Armory from September 29 – 30, 2016. A film installation that uses two projectors to simulate left and right eye perspectives, the forthcoming work observes a similar strategy employed in “Curtains” (2014), one of the transfixing works on view at the CMA.