Installation view ‘Stephanie in Rio’ Natural Instincts, Les Urbaines, Lausanne, 2015 | Photo by Gina Folly, Courtesy the artist and Croy Nielsen, Berlin
Megan Rooney’s work explores the relationship between narrative and physical spaces, contexts of reception, and objects. Her texts evoke both mass cultural psychology, and a dream state mired in the languages of advertising, literature, and digital self-disclosure. These texts become script-like armatures for further works, ranging from video and performance to sculpture and painting. The recurring female character in the texts is neither reliable nor empathetic: she hovers somewhere between identification and critique, while also suggesting that each iteration of her work is merely a fragment of a larger whole, a gesamtkunstwerk ordered by no single framing mechanism.
It is hard to detect, but the curving, overlapping forms in Sebastian Black’s paintings are based on the image of a cartoon puppy. On occasion, you can detect a paw or a muzzle, but in most works, the features are abstracted beyond recognition into ovoid and wavelike forms in restricted palettes, recalling Latin-American modernism. The face of the puppy may have been recognizable in past iterations of the series, but in these works any clearly identifiable image has been subsumed under more stylized compositions.