Justin James Reed

Justin James Reed: Shining Bodies

Friday April 17 2015 from 6-8pm: Opening reception artist in attendance 

Saturday April 18 2015 from 7-9pm: One night site specific installation at S1

April 17 - May 17, 2015
Gallery Hours: Friday-Sunday 12-5 and by private appointment

Melanie Flood Projects is pleased to present Shining Bodies an exhibition by Richmond, Virginia based artist Justin James Reed, this is his first solo exhibition in Portland. Bringing together multiple aspects of his practice Shining Bodies continues Reed’s exploration of the experiential nature of photographic based imagery and the boundaries of time through a series of new glass works, laser etching on paper, and black & white photographs. In addition to the exhibition, Reed will present a one night site specific installation of new video work, a series of projections into fog from 7- 9PM on Saturday, April 18th at S1.

Reliquaries, historically used as containers for holy ephemera of religious institutions, often provide framing and context for the items they encapsulate. Through the re-presentation of these objects, and by divesting them of their contents and original significance, Reed draws our attention to what they represent as an idea; a method of bringing theoretical beliefs into being and ascribing mystical powers to objects. The reliquaries were chosen by Reed for their formal and sculptural qualities. In medieval thought, obtaining knowledge through aesthetics was a common approach. Here works primarily allude to meaning through the ethereal qualities of glass and in relation to the photographic based imagery which comprise the rest of the exhibition.

Reed’s photographic works further conflate ideas of past present, real, and perceived. Experimentation with alternative printing processes is an underlying current in his practice. Pieces created from the emerging field of laser etching continue Reed’s material studies and investigations into the possibilities of new technologies. By burning away minute layers of paper, an image is slowly uncovered. Recalling ancient papyrus and the traces of fire required to create them, these works are somehow lost to the present, yet have no place in the past. A pair of black & white photographs are the final component of the exhibition. Drawn from Reed’s investigation into the sensorial qualities of the medium itself, they are at once highly representational, but remain abstract and cryptic.

Through this exhibition Reed asks us to consider how meaning is constructed. By leaving open the possibilities of interpretation and provenance, the space for the objects in this exhibition to reveal themselves is created.

Justin James Reed's work and artists' books have been exhibited widely, including: Invisible Exports (New York), Extra Extra Gallery (Philadelphia), Capricious Space (Brooklyn), Arnhem Mode Biennale (Netherlands), Depot II Gallery (Australia), Lille DSV (Denmark) and the Maison d'art Bernard Anthonioz (France). His work is in numerous collections, including: the Library of Congress, MoMA Library, Yale University Art Gallery, The New York Public Library, Archive of Modern Conflict, Stanford University Libraries, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library, Munich), and Dartmouth College. Reed is a member of the international collective, Piece of Cake, co-publisher at Brooklyn based Horses Think Press, and an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts.

Saturday evening’s installation graciously hosted at: S1 located 4148 NE Hancock St Portland, OR 97212

Press Release available here.