In the corner of your screen there is a button. HIDE. Images disappear, worlds disappear. An inter-face.

HIDE is a switch.

Across our world there are windows. Instincts. A way to be more naked. To appear. To disappear.

    HIDE is a threshold.

Taking its title from the romantic novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nick Herman’s exhibition HIDE alludes to that story’s central theme: the unstable relationship of the body to its surrounding environment. Like the eponymous architecture constructed in nature to camouflage an observer, HIDE is a series of dirty mirrors, each piece reflecting its location in a signal to noise relay, phantasms mimicking the instinctual co-dependence of seeing and disappearing.

HIDE presents a grouping of wall reliefs, photographs, and sculpture that frames and collapses the minutia that together constitutes an environment. Fragments of plants and people, patterns, color, and the technologies of reproduction are layered like sediment in compositions that move in space and on the wall. Using basic image transfer techniques and collage to construct these rough but sensuous three dimensional landscapes, Herman’s works hover between abstraction and objecthood, suggesting use value associated with a tool or instrument. The sculpted images are grounded in polished accretions that fold and overlap and each work repeats this logic of formal gestation. With names like “Resonator” and “Accumulator” the reliefs suggest a science of measurement or a science fiction. And yet these works function not so much to depict a subject but to echo their location; devised to amplify their surroundings, the works are in a way proto cameras, devices designed to trap vision and stop time. This phenomenological synergy between two and three dimensions can be seen most literally in the large aluminum sculpture that bisects the gallery.

A small grouping of photographs in the show function as a kind of index, providing a loose connection to the Hyde narrative and directly alluding to the instability of humanity in nature. Intimate in scale and made by folding tiny fragments of found printed imagery and collaging them with anonymous figures, they show the body in metamorphosis. This is the world of HIDE.

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