R. R. Smith

Here are a few images from the Pete Froslie show now up in the Tahoe Gallery.


There’s an intriguing mix of the sentimental and the grotesque. In the latter camp are the mechanized latex homunculi above, their bald heads and exposed organs all bathed in bloody red light, moving up and down like pistons, the extraneous strips of latex at their bases jiggling like flayed skin…



There’s a wooden map frosted with splinters, a foggy portrait of an aging gentleman (R. R. Smith, I presume) composed of tiny smiley-face stickers…



A wall laden with biographical scraps clipped from the life of Bob Smith — who, from the evidence at hand, was (or is) a musician and actor, and who spent some time in the military.



If you linger to read the clippings, you can savor the locutions of a bygone era. A review of a play Smith was involved in, performed at the Reno Little Theater, complains of the “dismal” parameters of the story, while politely complimenting the actors for weathering such subject-matter.



There is a video projected on the wall, which starts off in a static suburban sort of lull…


Until something terrible happens…


And judging from the below photo, something fairly awful happened in the recent past, as well…



A peep-hole opens up on a scene of some extreme yet obscure violence.




These aren’t all the details of the show, but they give a taste of the overall effect — an exploded scrapbook, with the intentionally enshrined memories interpolated with the messy entrails of an unspecified trauma. There’s a mix of forthright disclosure and guarded obtuseness. The tone is at once affectionate, comical and discomfiting. Check it out for yourself. I know I’ll be circling back to it while it’s up — and will probably have more to say after the Artist’s Talk, on Sept. 24.

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