In a lonely space there is a trace of an absent presence. Inert, remote, and incongruous areas like idle alcoves, dormant plush parlors, dusty library nooks, or obscured hallways have uncanny charm. Their reasons for existing seem untenable or extraneous, yet they can evoke mesmerizing nostalgia. They seem sad and desolate, and simultaneously sweet, amusing, and full of hope. Obscure attraction to these strange, disconnected places shifts one’s focus, but this awareness is like a daydream. Diametric adjectives intertwine and for a moment time moves differently. Emily Count’s The Other Room embodies this confounding psychological landscape. Her installation at The Vestibule (itself a once forsaken space) gives metaphorical form to fascinating dissonance. She uses the odd gallery architecture to explore the transformative, unstable, and energetic properties that inform the relationship between internal and external experience. Mutable natural elements like plants and fire combine with mystical design and linear perspective to transform a mental landscape into a physical structure that others can inhabit. In the dreamy atmosphere of the resulting environment, objects become symbols of the imagination that constitute a vocabulary common to both individual and collective psyche.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Emily Counts was born in Seattle, WA in 1976, and currently lives and works in Portland, OR. She has a BFA from the California College of Arts and studied painting for a semester at the Hochsule der Kunste in Berlin, Germany. Counts was an artist in residence creating work for associated solo exhibitions at Raid Projects, Los Angeles in 2004 and Plane Space, New York in 2008. She has shown work at the Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Mark Moore Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Motel, Compound Gallery, Portland, OR; Together Gallery, Portland, OR; Bucketrider Garllery, Chicago; Eitoeiko Gallery, Tokyo; and Galerie Lara, Tokyo.
ABOUT THE VESTIBULE
The Vestibule is an independent project space dedicated to showing dynamic contemporary art. We are primarily interested in site-specific installations, collaborations, and any other original ideas that execute the space in exciting ways. The gallery is housed within Disjecta in North Portland and was established in December 2009.