The Thing About You Is You Will End Up Like Me
September 4 - October 18, 2008
For this show, the gallery has been rendered entirely white—floor, ceiling, and walls—resulting in an environment that feels unbound and separate from time and the physical world outside, even as it presents a stark distillation of the artist’s relationship with that physical world. A small selection of black-and-white photographs hang from the walls, and stacks of newly released, self-published photography books by the artist emerge organically from the gallery floor.
Both the photographs and the books reflect a view of the world in which nature, godlike, is as essential to us as it is dismissive of us. The images possess the immediacy of snapshots, yet are deliberately devoid of the accidental. Composed as metaphors, they are imbued with the Sisyphean insistence of a believer bent but not broken by an indomitable world. In this world, trees, grass, rocks, mist, the ocean and the unfathomable deepness of the night sky simultaneously, seemingly paradoxically, comfort and unsettle. And in it, we are reminded that we rise as temporally and transiently as trees, before falling again and becoming a small, permanent part of an infinite eternal.
Paul Schiek was born and raised in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He attended California College of the Arts and currently lives in Oakland, California. He recently was selected for Bay Area Now 5, currently on view at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Schiek is the founder of TBW Books, a publishing imprint that has produced books of his images and those of other photographers. A new series featuring photographers Todd Hido, Alec Soth, Abner Nolan, and Marianne Mueller will be released in 2009.