Director Federico Fellini’s debut film, tells a story of a young woman who begs and eventually buys her way into a struggling group of vaudeville performers. Though she labors to convince the group to let her join, she quickly becomes the focal point of their performances, stealing the spotlight from the group. Taking the title from this film, the exhibition “Variety Lights” at Devening Projects + Editions’ Offspace in Chicago features Sam Lipp and Thora Dolven Balke, whose works conflate the individual figure or subject with—or against—a fractured, abstracted field. A portrait or a body in motion become obscured through layering: a physically layered surface, in the case of Lipp’s wooly paintings, or through the tiered sequencing of discontinuous images in the case of Dolven Balke’s ambient films and photographs. From the chorus of the band, a figure emerges, stepping forward into wide-eyed focus only to hiccup back into the chorus’ clamor, looking to her feet while spinning in place. “Variety Lights” is curated by B. Ingrid Olson and John Henderson.
“Variety Lights” is on view through December 7th, 2013.
For more information visit Devening Projects + Editions‘ Offspace, Chicago.