All notes with the topic Nancy Gamboa | Notes on Looking

Headbang: Roya Falahi by Nancy Gamboa

I think everyone should know about the nineties, and what better introduction than Natural Born Killers?  I had my younger sister watch it with me one evening, and by the end I could tell my poor sister was over stimulated and completely drained.  Too much too soon?  After she left I decided to watch the movie again–this time without sound.  I suppose I wanted to interact with the film passively, allowing it to exist as the backdrop of my evening, giving it as much or as little attention as I chose.  But the silence had the opposite effect. Time slowed and the image became paramount, drawing me closer as I searched each frame for any signal or clue that might compensate for the meaning that was withheld.  Without the familiar voices and music to guide me, I had to remain physically and mentally present at all times.  No matter how much visual noise came at me or how much I exerted myself in scanning each image, there was a definite space, a vacuum that made me acutely aware of my role as the viewer.  Effort was then replaced with complacency as one image became another, building toward a narrative that neither I nor the creator of the work intended or could foresee. I had the same visceral experience with Headbang, the first solo show of artist Roya Falahi at the Kellogg Gallery at Cal Poly Pomona. Roya employs a combination of gestural performance and sculpture to build complex visual tableaux.  She focuses on the upper body as the primary site of compositions that reexamine identity through seemingly impenetrable photographic...