Joel Ross: Alleys and Parking Lots

15 September - 27 October 2012

“We looked for fissures and vacancies, roadside spaces we could take advantage of, and then wrote narratives and built sculptures to fill them. We also wrote stories and then searched (sometimes exhaustively) to find locations with the right conditions for those characters. The sculptures are declarations, and they take possession of their site, however briefly, with confidence, humor, urgency, and sometimes aggression.” – excerpt from Joel Ross and Jason Creps’ artist statement 2012


This work occupies a tension between the precise mise-en-scène of placing these signs in anticipation of a photograph and the documentation of the performative act of installing and abandoning these text-objects. The locations are often selected for their ominous feel or dramatic found-lighting scenarios – dusk, dawn, or the dark of night creating lush textures that frame multiple voices and narratives. These photographs, while still and seemingly outside of time, also reveal traces of human activity in isolated spaces: an illuminated doorway of a vacant shopping center, an abandoned tire, a lone shotgun shell casing. The drama of Ross and Creps’ private performances belie the stillness of these oddly compelling and beautiful images.