Above Under Glass: Gigi Janchang at Mission 17
In her artwork, Gigi Janchang effects decisive shifts – both large and small – in otherwise familiar phenomena, disorienting viewers and forcing them to reconsider the frames of reference that give them a sense of where they stand in the world. For her upcoming show at MISSION 17, Above Under Glass, she will install a sheet of glass, five feet off the floor, across the entire 17 ft. by 20 ft. area of the gallery. Visitors to the show will be forced to crouch when entering it, effecting an initial, aggressive, physical re-orientation of their points of view. On the far end of the gallery, stairs to a platform will promise relief from this constricting posture, and will produce a second shift in perspective from below to above. The audience’s attention will be turned back on itself, as viewers gaze upon other visitors to the show, now crouching in the position in which, only moments before, they found themselves. Videos displayed on monitors lying face down on the glass, and projected onto the gallery walls, will re-enforce these considerations of the politics of space, with live-feeds from closed-circuit cameras, all-too-close-up portraits, and images of passing crowds. The physical scale of Janchang’s project will make the show monumental. And yet the terms at stake in her installation are remarkably simple: above / under, me / you, here / there. With her wall of glass, Janchang will distill and thematize the power of both artwork, and the gallery itself, to provide a point of refraction that reveals the world in a different light.