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Joey Fauerso at Women and Their Work

Wide Open Wide @ Women and their Work Austin, TX October 5- November 11 2006

Reposted from Cantanker Magazine


from "Wide Open Wide" by Joey Fausero

Of all of our technological advances, one of our most fascinating and downright metaphysical is our ability to capture moments of time like butterflies in a net; to pin them down and examine them in depth at a later date, as many times as we’d like. It’s sheer magic and science; an alchemy of time if you will. I remember when my family bought our first VCR and how amazing it was to capture images from television and watch them over and over and over. That one episode of Laverne and Shirley will forever be ingrained in my memory. Our alchemy may have begun with pigmented scrawling on the walls of caves, but became oil paintings and photographs, then motion pictures.

The work of Joey Fauerso at Women & Their Work deftly interweaves painting and animated motion pictures to bring us a thought provoking installation that delves into the metaphysical in different ways and meshes the science with the spirit. Faureso’s Wide Open Wide takes the viewer on a ride from conception to release, creation to enlightenment from part to whole.

As you enter the space you are confronted with Into the Blue a small watercolor on paper depicting a person standing on the edge of the cosmos. They are about to enter the gaping maw of the unknown. Later, you realize that you ARE that person upon entering this show. Progressing into the space, the story unfolds. It begins with Flock, another watercolor on paper whose title concisely describes its massing, flapping subject. The most arresting sight is two walls with what appear to be repetitive prints of a shirtless man. Upon closer inspection, they are actually individual paintings in oil and acrylic. Each one is sculpted with broad brushstrokes that still capture details and nuances in rich skin-tones. The figure, Tommy, slowly changes from frame to frame eventually opening his mouth in a scream and falling out of frame then returning and eventually walking off the page. Fauerso wisely mixes some of the frames to prevent predictability and too much of a “flip-book” feel to the walls.

The part to whole, creation to enlightenment and conception to release is realized as you make your way around the room and see the video work that combines images from all the other pieces. It is the Wide Open Wide from which the show gets its title.

The projected video begins with the familiar flock from early in the show that is doubled and tripled in a spiraling effect as they flap across the wall. As expected, our friend Tommy comes into the frame and smiles at the pieces of himself on the opposite walls. The video of the paintings captures what seems to be self-conscious shyness, perhaps at being shirtless or on display; those minute gestures and fleeting feelings captured in paint and then in video.

The soundless scene culminates with Tommy opening his mouth to scream, revealing Open, varying embouchures of the cosmos or night sky in oval mouthed shapes. The cosmos expands from his mouth behind his head in a dark blue and starry halo.

Then again, as in the wall-mounted paintings opposite the video, Tommy gets up and walks out of the frame leaving an empty chair to contemplate what has transpired.

The importance of Fauerso’s work is that it not only catalogues the aforementioned path from creation to enlightenment and conception to release, capturing those moments in multiple mediums to watch again and again, but that it also brings into it the actual process of creating the work itself. It speaks of steps, both in the creation of the idea, paintings and installation as well as the steps on a path to finding a universe within. Pure alchemy. •

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