James Yamada “Unless I dream of one tonight” press release 2010

Gallery A: “Unless I dream of one tonight” – James Yamada

Opening friday 19 march  – from 7 pm to 9,30 pm – From 19 march to 30 april  2010

The contradictions between nature and scientific progress in the development of the global capitalist system is closely related to the complex language of the work of James Yamada  (North Carolina, 1967 – lives and works in New York and North Carolina). Using a system that evolves keeping pace with technology, the artist ponders over the continuing changes in cultural, social and environmental issues, highlighting the biological and moral decline of a consumerist  and hectic society. Natural and artificial landscapes are often hybridized by the artist who ironically highlights an increasingly fleeting and indistinguishable border. Engaging with different media (photography, painting, sculpture, video) Yamada reveals the impossibility to harness the language in an unambiguous code but also the will to give the viewer a totally free and autonomous choice and interpretation.

With “Unless I dream of one tonight”, fourth personal exhibition in the Raucci/Santamaria Gallery, the artist continues his research moving in the balance between dreams and the fears that fuel reality.  A series of new paintings in enamel on aluminum recount the rise of China, seen as a psychological and economic threat, for supremacy on the American and Western European culture. These paintings are intended as billboards that symbolically recall the cornerstones of the global market, presenting two ideograms in Mandarin saying “House for Sale” and “Space Available”. Beside them a number of woven tapestries depicty previous works in the series, emphasize the fear of a society which is increasingly dependent on the Asian countries that have made cheap labor their winning standard. Paranoia that becomes a reflection on the importance of an encoded symbolic language and also represents a clash between globalized cultures, in the balance between nationalist identities and the economy of consumption.

A fear that finds refuge in dreams, formalized in a two-meter high sculpture, an archaic monolith in acrylic on the inside of which a light is deceptively multiplied to infinity. At it’s extremity a projector transmits a series of slides of hand shadows of animals in loop. The images range from abstract to recognizable imitating not only the world of childhood but also a past age, when entertainment was simpler, in the desire for a less filtered experience that can still arouse wonder.  The same inspiration is also present in the sculpture made of a cast of polystyrene, like a torch partly sunken into the snow.  A dreamy image as warming up next to a faint, illusory flame. Yamada tries once again to take the viewer to a consideration, mediated by evocative images: thinking in critical terms about the consequences of constant environmental and economic changes, the sudden and uncontrollable degeneration of human nature.