Chasing Joshua Hagler at Frey Norris

The Hagler show The Imagined Chase currently up at Frey Norris is a must see experience, one of those great shows that just won’t translate to a computer screen. Up thru April 28th, you’ve got to experience it. Interesting, thought provoking, tactile, sensual and moody – Joshua’s works are full of textures and meaning. With a palette of black and blues, applied to cold chunky whites – they are starkly physical yet intellectual as well.
Painting, assemblage, collage and sculpture, framed within discarded window sashes – they present with a voyeuristic aspect. Large inkblots in their symmetry and form – body parts become abstracted and the 3d elements remind one of stalactite cave formations. The imagery is one thing viewed from afar (cowskulls, flowers, inkblots?) – then on closer inspection, the elements reveal sexual positions and limbs entwined. Georgia O’Keefe meets Joy Division, with a one-night stand aftermath.
Joshua’s video installation is equally arresting, capturing my attention for a good 15 minutes despite the fact I could barely hear parts of it. You enter the installation through a huge white 3D inkblot doorway, like the remains of fire retardant after a fire. Usually video installs bore me to tears – but this was interesting – dialog between animated 3D modeled men, emotional and personal. The floating faces had a robot feel, jerky morphing and somewhat like the Max Headroom character from the 80′s. A spacey, druggy ambiance mixed with the group therapy induced dialogs.
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