Flash Review

"Whether it’s interpreting the classical stereotypes and allegories in Titian’s 16th-century painting Sacred Profane Love, or deconstructing pornographic images in Alicia Ross’s similarly titled show, art has always been about ways of seeing. Ross’s work, like Titian’s painting, is motivated by the male gaze.

The multimedia show focuses on her canvases, in which appropriated pornographic images from the internet are recreated in thread with cross-stitching. Through the transcription process from digital to thread, the pictures become blown out and pixilated, and although there is a lot of handcrafted work, the images appear machined and digital, empty and programmed.

Ross’s work are titled “Motherboards,” referencing the manner in which we are hardwired to gaze upon each other. The image, the title, and its construction push the viewer into Lacanian paradox of the gaze: between the way we see, the way we perceive ourselves being seen, the way we are seen, and why. As Lacan once said, “I can feel myself under the gaze of someone whose eyes I do not see, not even discern.” However, isn’t this always the case? And if it is always the case then one begins to wonder where Ross’s work is really heading outside of the issues inherent to the feminist critique."

-Andrzej Lawn

Flash Art Magazine
International Edition
Vol. XLI / No. 263