P. Roch Smith, Phantoms, September 8 – October 13, 2007, Opening: Friday September 7th at 7 pm at Access Gallery, Artist Talk: Saturday, September 8th at 3 pm.
P. Roch Smith’s practice engages with the construction of male identity with GI Joe figuring prominently for the past several years. In Phantoms, Smith presents a collection of used 1970’s era GI Joes cast in plaster. Covered with a grid of 250 white figures, the gallery space resembles the interior of a mausoleum. Scratches and missing limbs on the figures evoke vigorous childhood play, and serve as an index to activities long since past. The small scale of the figures invites intimate viewing, yet when presented in row upon row the uniformed, limbless, inert figures suggest a memorial to the fallen heroic male. Whether through nostalgia or longing, memory and mourning are inherent in the figures.