Sara Greenberger Rafferty
By DARYL RASHAAN KING, OCT. 2018
Summarizing the exhibition Testing at Rachel Uffner Gallery : Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s artwork is the economic structure that governs the way people interact with each other. Testing features new work by the artist, and is her first foray into making glass artwork. The exhibition, as described by the artist, is the typical “math class where you are expected to show your work.” Rafferty addresses the current identity crisis of the country, asking herself to inspect “(our expectations for) things to be fully done.” Each piece serves as the result of artistic skills used to turn barriers into critical venture points. The exhibition would have been compromised by unessential details, if Rafferty stayed within her safe zone, making content that was obviously the open-minded product of philosophy - she was more engaged with the physical space. The specific choice, to increase, and decrease, the proportional relationship between her artwork and the gallery was provocative. Architectural technique merged with art to recreate the experience of entering a sacred space. The larger hall of the gallery was more welcoming than the constraints of the entranceway. Rafferty wanted to introduce the possibility that “it is ok (to work with)in the space of inquiry, where being uncomfortable is an aspect of the work.”
Moving on to the third interior gallery space, Rafferty displayed artwork in dimensions more appropriate for casual inspection. Viewers of contemporary art can sometimes get lost in the domain of theoretical, conceptual jargon. Rafferty’s work might have crossed that line, if she didn’t make the attempt to “contemplate and force (the) issue of the body” onto the viewer. She first reformatted photography’s original function. “(Using) images as texture, in a pattern, over the entire thing,” Rafferty did not replay tradition to introduce her vinyl work at the entrance. Even though viewers were left imaging what Post - Post-Modern color scheme Rafferty would have used, her efforts to “destroy… (and look at the) image as object left a cleaner palette. Her investigation transformed glass into a play on the natural faculties of the material and the “benign violence” of the present.
People are vulnerable to any form of a “polemic.” Likewise, the generational shift between age groups grows, as people move between performing acts of “micro aggression to killing.” The style of Testing is fundamentally shaped by archival, stock, and film slides, a testimony built on the desire for new things. Rafferty reclaims some of these items and mixes them with “child references, and then stereotypes of where violence takes place.” She rephrases our understanding of what is happening when a female artist wants to fully express her own conscious awareness of viewing. The prosody, of her creative system, misconfigures everything and makes it all appear to be within the terms of order. The only thing that was missing was a recording of the artist’s voice testing a microphone. This would have allowed the viewer to question whether she could justify the existence of each art object. However, as she stated, it’s “not like a tennis match where you can win and it’s clear. It’s a little more nebulous." WM
Daryl Rashaan King currently works as a Teaching Artist with Leap NYC; a Chef de Partie at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, The Four Seasons Tribeca; and the Vice President of the Asian American Film Lab. He is the founder/ principal of kokuoroi, a multidisciplinary creative studio. The studio focuses on problems derived from urban living, viewed through the perspective of King, a Brooklyn native. A graduate of Columbia University, who originally specialized in painting, some of King’s goals include obtaining both an M. Arch and an Expert Diploma in Culinary Arts. He would also like to pursue various art and design programs and to live abroad. King has already earned certificates from Parsons in Streetwear; completed part of the Sustainable Design Foundation at Pratt Institute; and volunteered in Cusco, Peru at the construction site of a new Lower School. His work has greatly evolved since taking an Information Architecture course focused on Future Cities, hosted by the Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. A former varsity wrestler, King has hopes of learning and practicing new martial arts. When he isn’t working, enjoying music, or playing video games, King’s focus is on the future.view all articles from this author