Zoe Crosher's "Unraveling" at DCKT

Zoe Crosher Untitled ca. 2002 C-print 10" x 13" image (11x14” paper) [installation view]

Zoe Crosher Silhouette #7 2009 inkjet print 24" x 20" paper [installation view, including a portion of the white border, a part of the piece]

Zoe Crosher Obfuscated 3 2009 inkjet print 23.5" x 34.75"

Zoe Crosher Acting Like a Tiger 2009 inkjet print 12" x 9" image alone [installation view]

Zoe Crosher [installation view of individual pieces arranged as a group]

We made it a top pick on ArtCat just this afternoon, while standing inside the gallery. The bad news is that Zoe Crosher's show at DCKT, "The Unraveling of Michelle duBois", closes tomorrow.

You probably don't want to miss this one, but if you can't make it you'll have a chance to visit some of the work at the Armory Show next month, in the next issue of Aperture Magazine, or, I've been told, in a book. I'm crossing my fingers for the chances of that last one.

The DCKT show itself is described by the gallery as:

. . . a reconsidered archive culled from crates, boxes and albums consisting of endless flirtatious smiles, tourist shots, cheesecake mementos and suggestive poses in every film type and size.

It is simply an archive. But nothing is ever simple. Michelle duBois, one of a number of aliases, kept a lot of pictures of herself. Turning tricks in the Pacific Rim during the ‘70s, she took on many guises for her particular profession and kept fanatical documentation of her many dramatic transformations.

duBois handed over the materials to Crosher, who met the older woman through her aunt, who was a friend of hers. Yes, the show is made up of pictures of pictures, but what pictures, and what a triumph the artist has made of them, in both their direct and conceptual impact. The images, almost all of them portraits of the same woman in different costumes, wigs and environments, appear at first to be pure inventions of the artist (who in fact resembles the younger "Michelle duBois") but the truth is that they are possibly more creative, and incredible, than ordinary studio constructions. They are collaborations, sensitive original concoctions composed of minimally-reworked materials which were entrusted to Crosher by another human being, and by, in more than one sense, the callous degradations of time.

They are photographs whose images, the visitor soon learns, the artist has loosed from their surfaces and advanced toward the sublime.

Two tips for additional access to the Crosher's work:

On Tuesday, February 16, at 6:30 pm., the Aperture Foundation is hosting an evening with Crosher and Jan Tumlir, who wrote the article which will appear in issue 198. The event is described as "a conversation exploring self-invention and role-playing as told through personal photographs, and what comes of the great “archival theme” in the digital era".

A remarkable double-sided print by Crosher was included in the 2009 edition of the Artist of the Month Club, an annual curated subscription portfolio produced by Invisible-Exports.

This looks like an extremely special exhibition. I'm looking forward to being able to see it at The Armory Show.