Picture Window #6
For the 6th Picture Window at Manière Noire, Philadelphia-based artist Amze Emmons shows his installation STREET LIFE FLAT PACK. This work explores the haptic graphics of printed lo-fi street signage when deployed in three dimensional space. This is an experiment in place-making that purposely confuses index and context to make the familiar strange.
The commercially printed signage is sourced from street photographs Emmons took while walking in his home city of Philadelphia. They depict detritus and small architectural elements. Creating a stage-like set, the installation at first glance approximates the local view of an unremarkable street, but one that on further observation reveals it’s artifice.
The work presents the artist’s questioning of what it means to be local in an age of virtual social engagement and global commerce. A long time resident of city may be able to ‘read’ that place like a semiotic anthropologist, the smallest details revealing history and current affairs. By contrast we spend more and more time online in a virtual communities untethered to notions of place. Attempting to reconcile these contradictions informed Emmons’s humorous attempt to make a portable local. The impossible folly of the project is meant to point back to the shortcomings of our global commodified experience; some things cannot be delivered by Amazon Prime or assembled from an Ikea-style package.
More at: amzeland
Amze Emmons is a Philadelphia-based, multi-disciplinary artist with a background in drawing and printmaking. His images evoke a sense of magical/minimal realism inspired by architectural illustration, comic books, cartoon language, information graphics, news footage, consumer packaging, and instruction manuals.
Emmons received a BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University and a MA and MFA from the University of Iowa. He is currently an Associate Professor at Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia.