Veils by Dominic Guarnaschelli
December 7th 2018 to January 13th, 2019
The following text was written by Julie Leidner for the exhibition Veils by Dominic Guarnaschelli at Sheherazade in 2018 -2019.
Veils is a new site-specific installation by Louisville-based artist Dominic Guarnaschelli. The exhibition asks us to reflect upon the idea of revelations, and will span the duration of Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, as well as the heaviest shopping season of the year.
Guarnaschelli’s installation juxtaposes two new works: a looping video projection called Endless Time for End Times, and The Gift, a glossy black welded steel sculpture in the shape of a gift box. In the video, the viewers’ gaze focuses on a pair of hands—the artist’s hands, or perhaps our own—ripping open a gift covered with wrapping paper, only to reveal another layer of wrapping paper underneath, and repeating this action ad infinitum. Nothing is revealed except for another layer of excess.
Each layer of paper in Guarnaschelli’s video features a different, custom-made printed pattern based on images drawn from diverse sources such as Botticelli’s 15th century illustrated manuscript of Dante’s Inferno, and the 1920 book Dispensational Truth by influential conservative Baptist Clarence Larkin. Apart from being a word that means the unveiling of something hidden, “revelations” is also the title of final book of the Christian Bible, as well as the word for “apocalypse” in Greek.
The video also alludes to the strange yet staggeringly popular “unboxing videos” on YouTube, in which tens of millions of viewers watch close-up videos of disembodied hands removing products or toys from their packages. These videos reward people vicariously by virtually unwrapping a mystery object, and in doing so, they tap into a primal curiosity that almost transcends the commercial intent of the object.
Dominic Guarnaschelli is a multimedia artist who maintains a studio in Portland, Louisville. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 2001 and a Master of Fine Arts from Florida State University in 2004. His work has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions nationally. Guarnaschelli was awarded an Al Smith Fellowship in Visual Art by the Kentucky Arts Council in 2013 and served as a mentoring artist in Louisville Visual Art’s The Future is Now program in 2017. In addition to his studio practice, Guarnaschelli is an exhibition design consultant. He works as creative director at the Kentucky Derby Museum and, in June 2018, was a featured lecturer at the inaugural Museum Studies program at Albany State University. Upcoming projects include a sculptural installation commissioned for the Louisville Ballet’s Choreographer’s Showcase in January 2019 and a solo exhibition at the Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, OH in February 2019.