Columbus Makes Art Presents Christine Gaffney and Leah Trznadel at ROY G BIV
Refresh, Refresh, Refresh is the title of the latest exhibition at ROY G BIV Gallery for Emerging Artists. The exhibition features the work of Christine Gaffney and Leah Trznadel. Jurors Chris Yates, Maria Seda-Reeder and Scot Kaplan suggested these two artists exhibit their work together as they were struck by the similar themes and thought the work would be powerful together. We chatted with Christine and Leah about their exhibition.
Lynette: How did you arrive at the title Refresh, Refresh, Refresh? Leah: The title was a joint effort. Christine had brainstormed the word “refresh” as a title because it seemed to link our two styles together and then I tripled it… I was interested in the term being a sort of double entendre, meaning something physical but also connecting to a digital space like refreshing a web page. Then it seemed like a natural progression to repeat the term three times to make the title a bit absurd to match the style of the work. Christine and I both push our video performances toward the absurd and have a very direct link to the digital world through personas and social media, so we took that into consideration when creating the title.
Christine: Both of our work deals with notions of the absurd. My work also deals with breaking down ideas from videos on the internet. I imagined a viewer having to refresh an internet page because the work is so absurd that they are not quite sure of what they are viewing. I also thought about having to do a double take if you were to view the work in a gallery setting, and kind of having to refresh your mind. The work itself is new and refreshing, so the word takes on many meanings. When Leah suggested using the word three times, it made sense to me because of how one might refresh a computer screen several times but also because of themes of repetition that often play a role in our work.
Lynette: Tell me about your current practice.
Christine: I am an interdisciplinary performance artist focusing on body politics, identity and gender. I discovered my current practice by way of sculpture training and for that reason, my performance work emphasizes sculptural objects. I interact with these objects in my videos or I display as ephemera of a performance.
Leah: Image culture has saturated contemporary life. Society has been molded by image and perception. Photography and film are the universal language on which the world runs. Understanding images and how they influence contemporary life is the exploration of my practice. The transfer of information from a three- dimensional world into a two-dimensional image and back again is where I find my inspiration.
Lynette: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?Leah: I would say in this space of trying to stay home for the safety of ourselves and others but still trying to engage in our communities, the Columbus art scene’s adaptability is the best thing happening. It’s a difficult transition to make going from in-person to online or physical to digital connection, and the art scene in Columbus seems to have done a great job of continuing to engage with the community and make resources and art available while caring for the health and well-being of the public.
Christine: I experience something new that I had not realized was there before. I learn of new opportunities and meet new exciting people. I really enjoy Columbus.
Leah’s and Christine’s exhibition Refresh, Refresh, Refresh is on view until Sept. 5 at ROY G BIV Gallery, 435 W. Rich St. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. and by appointment; admission is free. Find a deeper conversation and links to Leah’s and Christine’s social media on our website roygbivgallery.com/exhibitions.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Learn more about local artists, organizations and events at ColumbusMakesArt.com.