In Schematameme at TastySpace Gallery, artist Christopher Jones offers poignant and humorous glimpses into contemporary vernacular and media while playing with fixed ideas and preconceived notions. Through skewed phrasing, found images and typography, the artist has us on the outside looking in at our world, while we participate in an interactive piece testing our relationship to images.
Visitors are immediately confronted by two large prints hanging on the wall with a note nearby asking them to determine which image is “good” and which is “not so good.” There are no guidelines for the decision—aesthetic considerations, subject matter or quality of construction. It’s a bring-your-own-context approach to deciding between a distorted photograph of a man with only a few identifiable features or a high-contrast, perfectly balanced mug shot-style photo of the artist’s friend.
“The idea was to prove how arbitrary our tastes are,” Jones says regarding the rubrics pieces—named so for the rubric scoring method. “As humans, we process so much information on a daily basis, and that thought is often part of the process.”
Perception, expectations, information and communication are key in Schematameme. By placing current terms and tweaked phrases made from hand-cut typography onto found black-and-white photographs, Jones creates handcrafted memes of a sort in “Remnants” celebrating juxtapositions and plays on words. Gold, collegiate-style letters spell “teim” across a vintage image of a sports stadium, mouthing off to the notion that there is no “i” in team. “Life of the parity” covers an image of a man and woman out on the town.
And then there’s a layered billboard created from signs bought from beggars. The “living piece of typography” reveals words as a photosensitive chemical on the piece fades, providing another element to the signage defining us.
Schematameme Through April 13, call for hours. TastySpace, Emergency Arts, 617-513-7336.