Looking Glass, a solo exhibit by Alice Pixley Young, is currently on view at the PAC Gallery. The exhibit juxtaposes elements of the forest and domestic space through found and altered objects augmented with sound, lighting and cast glass. Together, the disparate pieces explore the psychoanalytic notion of The Uncanny, described by Sigmund Freud as “something familiar and old-established in the mind that has been estranged only by the process of repression.”
Ribbons of “secrets in your bones” spill out of a closed vintage cabinet that apparently cannot contain them [there’s an audio component to this that I unfortunately couldn’t hear during Friday night’s opening reception].
During the opening, the late afternoon sun cast long shadows through the gallery, which were at times really beautiful, and at times distracting. This is an exhibit that can be enjoyed throughout the day with shifting results due to the capacious windows in this storefront gallery. The presence of daylight, cars and pedestrians all affect the experience of the work.
The tableaux create surreal relationships between elements of domesticity and woodland fantasy, familiar objects being upended through their unexpected placement and illogical juxtapositions. Just as Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass explores its “mirror” theme through time running backwards and other surprising phenomena, Looking Glass employs surprising juxtapositions of materials and objects. Below, tied-together ladies’ handkerchiefs create an escape route from the ceiling, their excess spiraling on the gallery floor.
Alice Pixley Young was born in Washington DC and studied at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, the University of Maryland, and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She teaches at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts and regularly exhibits her work in Cincinnati and beyond.