au(ro)ra

au(ro)ra
June 15 – July 23, 2017
Anglim Gilbert Gallery at Minnesota Street Project
San Francisco, CA.
The words were wholly incomprehensible to him; but, like the aurora which guides the navigator in northern latitudes, opened new vistas to the inquiring mind of the listener, and gave fantastic glimpses of new horizons.
Alexandre Dumas
In this presentation of new work, Ebtekar puts before his audience contrasting kinds of enigmatic experience: one intimate, relating to the mystical experience of the book page and the written word; the other macroscopic, involving the open gaze at the universe, the firmament of stars as they might be taken in by anyone (or anything). In an exposition that encourages comparisons of the physical reality of the cosmos to the reality constructed by man’s perception and intellect, Ebtekar also calls to task the creative process: are creative acts man-made or guided by an aura into ‘new horizons’?
Evoking a sense of the cosmic, Ebtekar displays four large panel works on canvas, formed by the light of stars as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, activating the photochemical surface of the “painting.” In this way, as true ‘representations’ of the universe, these images have little intervention or manipulation by hand. On a conversely small scale, he will present a group of cut manuscript pages where the words are cut away. The patterns of negative space define openings, clouds, or, as he suggests, guiding auroras.
The dynamic created by the difference in scale of the works will be enhanced by another work installed in front of a window in the gallery space. The work on the floor, mimicking a sunbeam entering the space, is the negative of one of the photogram paintings. In this way Ebtekar addresses the reproductive aspect of the artist’s craft, sharing the process and ‘instruments behind the magic.’