January 9—February 7, 2015
Republic Gallery is pleased to present Shadow Puppet, a solo exhibition of new works by Carol Sawyer. This photographic and two-channel video installation documents a short performance. In it, the artist employs a simple means of producing illusions in order to shape-shift and engage with alter egos in dramatic, sometimes humorous ways.
For her performance, Sawyer attaches pieces of cardboard and plastic to her body, effectively turning herself into a life-sized shadow puppet. The characters whose silhouettes are cast on the wall – dinosaur, warrior princess, old woman, and wolf – are a visually jarring contrast to the body of the artist positioned before them. The shadows, which are reminiscent of Ray Harryhausen animations, seem to engage in a dialogue with the artist, giving the impression that they are independently animated. Blurring the boundaries of what is real and what is a trick of the light, Shadow Puppet addresses the successes and failures of the artistic process committed to improvisation.