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What Is This Feeling: New Work By Kristin Reeves At Antena

By Carrie McGath in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 8, 2014 9:30PM

'[What Is This Feeling #4-#11]' by Kristin Reeves

The room hummed like an experiment while we digested Kristin Reeves' exhibition, "What Is This Feeling" at Antena in Pilsen. Her use of medical grade x-ray boxes give her work a multidimensional intensity. In "Baby Falling Apart," there is an image of an infant falling into pieces, and the vibrant pixelated colors tell a dire tale with the infant appearing to be coming apart at an atomic level.

In "Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling #1]," a geometric fracturing continues. It is a profile of a woman, her head bent downward. She is comprised of squares, but unlike the disintegrating movement of "Baby Falling Apart," it feels like this is a coming together, with differing angles and perspectives commingling to make up a deeply complex image.

The images Reeves uses are found images from medical archives and there is a good reason why the inherent anonymity of archived, found material appeals to her. She spoke to me at the opening about her childhood, where medical experimentation a frequent occurrence. She expressed the feeling that she was more of a specimen than a child needing treatment. This work is born of her memories and her interest in the medical archive.

'Baby Falling Apart' and 'Je Ne Sais Plus [What Is This Feeling] #1' by Kristin Reeves

She saw a study photo of herself when she was in an examining room waiting for a doctor, a black bar over her eyes intended to protect anonymity. Reeves does not use the black bars that are so prevalent in study photos, but instead burns a frame around them using a laser cutter. A microbial specimen over the face of a crying baby is one of many images expressing Reeves' fascination with fracturing, layering, identity, and objectification.

In the a composition of nine boxes, "What Is This Feeling #4-#11," I see an evolution in form. The grid mimics the fracturing seen earlier, but the geometry has grown larger, more engrossing, and more intimidating.

In her work, Reeves ponders our smallness, our largess, ideas of identity and privacy in our 21st century world. It is a show wholly fascinating, cohesive, and absolutely stimulating.

Through July 19 at Antena, 1765 S. Laflin St.