As a teenager growing up in the 1980s, Ralph Provisero bombed the streets of Miami with his inventive graffiti art. His natural-born talent took him to the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York and later to galleries in places as diverse as Los Angeles, Kansas City, and Mexico.
But the 41-year-old Provisero has never forgotten where he grew up, and he has never strayed too far from home.
The local boy's latest effort is a sprawling new installation at the Dorsch Gallery. Titled Traiettorie Architettoniche (Everybody's Got Their Own Arrows), the sculptural work is fashioned from steel beams and tie rods the architectural guts recycled from another Miami gallery, rearranged, and cleaved of their original function.
At first blush, it seems Provisero has launched a V-1 rocket assault on the space.
Massive steel beams pierce the gallery walls and floor like smoke-charred missiles. Their chisel-honed tips and lean, angular fins add the slightest hint of menace to the air.
The work was commissioned as part of the exhibition "Celluloid Drag: Some Space Between Film and Architecture," curated by Terri C. Smith and also featuring a suite of 50 small abstract paintings by Todd McDaniel and a film by Gordon Matta-Clark.
A gallery handout informs the show's title was chosen to reflect dual concerns: first, to reference when projectors malfunction, causing film to drag and "the spaces in between the frames to intermingle/interfere with image and light," and second, to conjure the drag that structures in the environment "impose on wind and light as they are slowed, stretched, or split by physical objects, especially architecture."
To buttress her concept, the curator goes on to quote an essay by film director and theorist Sergei Eisenstein, but it suffices to say this show seeks to mine the flickering shadows between architecture and film.
April 10-18, 2009