15 October 2005 - 19 November 2005
Overawe, 2005, installation view, Foxy Production, New York
Overawe, 2005, installation view, Foxy Production, New York

Foxy Production is pleased to present OVERAWE, a three-person exhibition of sculpture, video, and photography. Overawe engages with a corporate world of obfuscation and spin, one that can produce disillusionment countered by a persistence of the belief in the “American Dream.” With a complexity of materials and approaches, Sarah Dobai, Ruth Maclennan, and Ester Partegàs home in on the structure of desire and the effects of the relinquishment of personal agency. The works draw the viewer into conflicting positions, inviting one to play the role of an implicated, judgmental interlocutor.

Sarah Dobai’s photographs, “A Cloud of Yellow Dust” (2005) and “The Revoked License” (2005), present characters tightly framed within cars. An interior shot of a lone male character in a confined space is juxtaposed with an exterior shot of a female character leaning out a window, producing a stirring image of speed and consumption. Dobai conjures a charged atmosphere of insatiable desires, recalling the work of mid-Century American writers, such as Raymond Carver and Tennessee Williams.

Ruth Maclennan’s video, “Dialogue #3 (That’s not for me to say)” (2002), explores the suppressed desires behind the uniform face of big business. Depicting a closeted world in turmoil, Maclennan suggests a narrative that then fails to unfold. Drawing on sources including the emptied-out dialogue of Beckett, courtroom dramas, corporate training videos, and video art, “Dialogue #3” enacts a dislocation between meaning and image, and between a character and the performance they are caught up in.

Ester Partegàs presents “Life is Tremendous” (2005), a sculptural simulation of an advertisement stand. The sculpture’s enameled structure, made of wood, text, and paper, is supplemented by handmade trash sitting in a flower basket. While the mismatch between the upbeat, over-the-top advert and the austere structure and dark tones of the stand suggest the failure of corporate intent, Partegàs also suggests unforeseen spaces of personal agency and appropriation.

Sarah Dobai (London, 1966) holds an MFA from Vancouver University of British Columbia, Canada. Selected exhibitions include: 1000,000mph, London (2005) (solo); Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany (2004); Bard College, Centre for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2003); Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2002); Artists Space, New York, USA (2002) (solo); Arnolfini, Bristol, toured to Cornerhouse, Manchester (2002) Entwistle, London (2001) (solo) Lombard Fried Gallery, New York (2001).

Ruth Maclennan (London, 1969) holds a BA from Edinburgh College of Art, and an MA from Trinity College, Cambridge and an MA from Goldsmith’s College, London. She has exhibited widely, including: the Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, Australia (2005); Kulturhuset, Stockholm (2003); Artspace, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (2003); John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, England (2002); Nadiff, Shibuya, Japan (2002); Kunsthalle, Vienna (1998) (with Szuper Gallery); Kojimachi Gallery, Tokyo (2000); Gallery le Deco, Shibuya, Japan (2000); Gallery SL, Perm, Russia (2000); Uppsala International Biennale, Sweden (2000); ICA, London (1999) (with Szuper Gallery).

Ester Partegàs (La Garriga, Barcelona, 1972) holds a BFA from the Universitat de Barcelona and has completed postgraduate studies in Multimedia at Hochschule der Kunste. Selected exhibitions include: SculptureCenter, Queens, New York (2005); Telefónica, Madrid (2005); Centre Cultural de La Caixa, Lleida, Spain (2004 traveling in 2005); PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY (2004); Salina Art Center, Salina, KS (2004); Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona (2003) (solo); Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY (2003) (solo); Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, TX (2002) (solo); and the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York (2002). Partegàs is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Sculpture.

OVERAWE is curated by artist Ruth Maclennan.