Love Focused Like a Laser - 2012 - The Hole (NYC)
Matthew Stone will be presenting his second solo exhibition at the gallery this November 10th in Gallery 3. Love Focused Like a Laser highlights a new series of wall-based works created using computer controlled engraving and a new form of photography that captures moving bodies lit only with lasers. During the long exposure shots, Stone moves in front of the camera and “draws” directly with nightclub lasers lights onto the bodies of the performing figures. The camera tracks the movement of the models, the artist and the lasers resulting in spectacular imagery that combines photography, performance and drawing.
These pieces are part of Stone’s continuing explorations of the body and spirituality in our contemporary experience, promoting an optimistic reimagining of human potential. They push his explorations forward via his creation of luminous creatures and spectral bodies that emerge from a process that is defined by community-minded collaboration and embedded within the technological language of our times. Inspired in equal part by shamanism and avant-garde nightlife activity, Stone gives image to his philosophy that the nightclub might present a secular context for sublimated and intuitive religious experience, a statement that is reasserted in the works’ installation. The blacked-out gallery is dimly lit like a church, but periodically it bursts into the same starry light that defines the images, showering the audience and artworks in red and green laser dots. Working with his community of club-kids, artists and dancers, would-be shamans arrive using art, performance, technology and dance music as the vehicle for ecstasy. Stone’s ecstasies return us to the body if only to temporarily escape it. In many of these works, the figures appear born of stars, magic. Interchangeable spirits temporarily take human form out of a void of possibility. Swirls of light that dance across skin become the artist’s gesture. Like a symphony conductor Stone directs elements and people that speak back to him to create poetic narratives and social sculptures.
“Optimism is the vital force that entangles itself with and then shapes the future, so we should embrace it. For if all artists reject optimism, then nobody will be here to create the future with sensitivity. The stories will be told, and with conviction, but only by those who seek power over beauty.
My doubting friend stood to leave; her body jerked upright, his head tilting back. I feel her vessels dilate. I hear a voice; “Networked-minds, oxygenated and alive because different thoughts pass through our muscular hearts.” It was then that I spoke without fear; “Everything is Possible & Love Changes Everything.”
Looking back now it had become clear to me that we are still able to credibly speak about love. A love that finds its feet in a kindness that is more powerful than violence. A love thats mystery lies in a type of beauty that is beyond the body & that dwarfs the things that you can buy.
Love focused like a laser.”
An excerpt from “EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE” a manifesto by Matthew Stone published in the September issue of i-D Magazine.