Leslie Rogers - Three Ring
LESLIE ROGERS - THREE RING is an overlapping body of works presented by Black Iris that created a series of immersive performative installations and hallucinatory environments. Objects and imagery, somehow familiar, welcome you into the spectacularly bizarre and color-rich world of Rogers’s “Three Ring”. Neither a traditional showing of sculpture or performance, her exhibition features three works combined to compose a series of vignettes that when taken in at once create an animated walk-in tableaux. Intimately choreographed by the artist and performers, the exhibition is an immersion into Rogers’s universe, revealing an exceptional talent and unique vision.
In “Haggle”, a game of multi-sensory interactions and intimate gesture shuffle between metaphor and reality. The performative-sound-installation —Rogers’s most ambitious work to date—is a technical tour de force that encompasses the talents of Philadelphia performers Zac Palladino and Marc McCloughan as well as Richmond based artist and musician Nelly Kate Anderson.
In the center of a surreal mountain range, a helium filled hot air balloon is fitted around a mans torso like an absurdly beautiful diaper, encompassing all but his arms and legs, and floating 13 feet above his head. In a dance that is at once slapstick and delicate, the two performers are simultaneously attracted and repelled by one another. Like a dream unraveling before the viewer’s eyes, the sounds emanating from the space, the shifts of light and the interactions between the performers create an experience that is at once immaterial and hyperreal.
In “Ghost”, Rogers extrudes the center of a round Virginian Farmer’s Fancy quilt to produce a soft sculpture that descends and ascends from the gallery ceiling over Richmond based, classically trained vocalist Antonia Fisher Duke. Duke inhabits the form and brings it to life with her ethereal “Vox Saw” vocals. As her sounds fill the space, perception of the scene bounces between the spiritual and the cartoon. At once solid and soft, material and immaterial, this performative sculpture, seems to question the mystery of afterlife or the universal imagery of a child in a bedsheet.
In “All The Flowers are Mine”, Rogers presents two individuals intertwined with one another and the table at which they are sitting while eating an endless supply of flowers. At Rogers’s table the hierarchy between table, skirt, tablecloth, clothing, meal, table setting and human is erased . Throughout the night we witness the emergence of some new logic as this hybrid table-setting-eating-machine consumes and produces what is at once beautiful and repulsive.
An architect of imaginary worlds, in the past Rogers has created events employing a rich variety of materials and relationships including the unstable and unusual, such as Craigslist Ads, G-String underwear and mouth plays. Her continuous search for new expressions, she has collapsed mountain ranges or blown them out of proportion in order to reinvent our relationship to them. Through her work, with ambitious gestures and irreverent panache, Rogers explores the secret mechanisms of perception, combining ready-made sensibility with a neo-Baroque taste for the absurd.
Leslie Rogers (2013) conjures and narrates a hallucinatory landscape that is based as much in serendipitous play as much as it is in the psychological reflection. Though each of the three pieces are activated by performers, the sculptures themselves are characters, when inhabited antagonistic forces at play for access to the process of (spiritual) transcendence.