Critics’ Picks

Julia Feyrer, New Pedestrians, 2017, fused glass, scissors, mirror, 15 x 12 x 7". From the series “New Pedestrians,” 2017.

Los Angeles

Julia Feyrer

2130 Valley Blvd
September 3 - November 5

Body contorted and crouched, one marvels at Julia Feyrer’s vivid dioramic sculptures, low-lying stacks of quotidian odds and ends sandwiched between mirror and bright glass. Viewed from above, the series of works that comprise her installation “New Pedestrians,” 2017, is a curious study in reflective surfaces and rippled textures, the bulges and contours of her footprints impressed into the kaleidoscopic material. She juxtaposes the abstract, undulatory shapes of the glass sheets with familiar found forms hidden underneath. Dripping candles, open scissors, plastic pill organizers (turned vertical with dice hidden in cavities), magnifying glasses, and other curiously configured domestic objects prop up these fragile slabs that bear the artist’s corporeal mark. These small feats of gravity are stabilized only by epoxy putty. Is Feyrer implying that she stands on shaky ground?

Precarity likewise informs her 16-mm film Escape Scenes, 2014, for which the artist made recordings staging various found materials in the back of a shaky truck as she drove around Vancouver. Feyrer constructs flattened environments with trinkets and household items, framing the cityscape as much as she obscures it with her bizarre compositions. These meticulous structures, however, seem destined to shatter. In one act, a tiny wrecking ball topples a stack of fake bricks. In another, the jolt of the moving vehicle knocks the pieces out of a scenario depicting an incomplete puzzle of the Parthenon surrounded by rock formations and neon plastic sand timers. Her work, like the ancient Greek temple, lacks stability.

While frailty and destruction might masquerade as Feyrer’s constant companions, she demonstrates a singular knack for theatricality and facade. Her works are tightly choreographed constructions that, when we look closely, reveal the shapes, images, and stories in what might appear to be only smoke and mirrors.