It was an ordinary day...
Aug 8–Sep 6, 2014
"It is better not to dissect imagination since power resides in its continued mystery." Neo Rauch
The juxtaposition of teenage surrealism and mid-‘90s popular culture&mdashthe former, particularly inscrutable, and the latter, methodically accessible&mdashdivulges the tenuous affair between enigmatic specificities (of unique experiences) and relatable generalities (of mass culture). It was an ordinary day... portrays a wholesome motif of an American teen girl’s bedroom, exaggerating certain feminine qualities and assumptions of adolescence, then ultimately subverting these conjectures with untidiness, generic romantic antics, dirty saccharin, and plotlessness. Martha Mysko achieves this through internalizing images and settings of her remembered teenaged girl past while avoiding nostalgia with an uncanniness that slips into a darker conjuration of a low-budget dream&mdasha fantasy space that is noticeably unsettling. The transitional state that Mysko saturates with altered surfaces and handles as a framework for an apparently troubled psyche and disturbed domesticity is calmed by the zestful colors of laundry caught up in piles of formalism that separate it from the tableau. An open book and an outstretched arm imply the power of reflection and connection to comprehend tomorrow in the throes of today. This narrative in the work, intentionally melodramatic (and never appearing to really settle its psychological struggle), becomes the foundation for an abstraction which upholds the mystery of the mind’s eye. -Haynes Riley