Tanya Leighton is pleased to present No Hanging Out, an exhibition of new works by the American artist Borna Sammak.
Sammak’s unique approach to mining contemporary culture – translated into video, sculpture and painting – often amounts to an overwhelming, nearly illegible accumulation of the stuff that surrounds us. Everyday life is an increasingly manic and junklittered thing, accompanied by an incessant stream of everyone else’s half-thoughts and fleeting photos. Sammak’s works fold the fabric of life in on itself, revealing the absurdity of what surrounds us and refocusing our attention on the humorous, foreboding or revealing threads that can otherwise become lost in the white noise.
Four video loops – compiled by layering fragmented footage and digital drawing – are partially framed by baroque arrangements of flora that mirror the overabundance on screen. These ‘Video Paintings’, as the artist calls them, are built with technologicallyaided gestures, drawn and mediated to the point they seem to paint themselves. The kitschy subjects hover in front of a mesh of abstracted clips lifted from YouTube, movie trailers and footage shot by the artist. As the videos undulate and loop, recognizable imagery becomes clear in what at first glance seems like a chaotic array of pure color and form.
If contemporary life feels cluttered, Sammak asks just how much overstimulation we are willing to slog through to find meaning that makes sense to us. In No Hanging Out the accumulation of visual and textual information illustrates the elusive and unfixed meaning of much of what we interact with daily. As the show’s title suggests, we are all too used to the fleeting, itinerant motion of contemporary life. Sammak’s works, in their resolute mania, compel their audience to slow down and look with renewed focus.