What exactly is a shadow? Is it light tracing an object or the shape a body throws when it comes between a light source and a surface? Is it a metaphor for the intimate, darker side of a person's nature-as Carl Jung postulated-and the unconscious side of one's self, where daemons and secrets are kept hidden or repressed? Is it an allegorical place between darkness and light, death and living? Or is it a state of illusion, like Plato's cave? Is it a verb that means to follow or accompany, or even to spy on? Shadows, a new collaborative series by Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves, explores the real and symbolic nature of the shadow as image and figure of speech. Grant's photographs capture Reeves's shadow at times as a silhouette and at others as traces of light as he and the camera move together. In transforming the images into color and reversing light for dark, Grant has made the shadows themselves the source of light. Reeves's texts, written in tandem with the creation of the images, give voice to the multiple manifestations of the shadow: as a projected figure, a place of concealed emotion and an invocation to shadow play.
Published by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Edited by Alma Ruiz. Text by Hélène Cixous.
Through a combination of conceptual and intuitive operations, Alexandra Grant transforms texts into patterns of color, shape and form, giving them new life. Her collaborations with Michael Joyce, the renowned hyperfiction writer, and the use of the writings of theorist, novelist and academic Hélène Cixous inspired Grant to create The Ladder Quartet, a series of four large-scale paintings that can be aptly described as "wordscapes" or "landscapes of language." These paintings, along with new work, are presented here, along with essays by LA MOCA curator Alma Ruiz and Hélène Cixous. Alexandra Grant received a MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco in 2000. She had a solo exhibition at Gallery 16:1 in Santa Monica in 2004 and has been in numerous group shows across the country. Her exhibition in L.A. MOCA's Focus series is the first major museum showing of her work.