Rafman’s series You Are Standing in an Open Field (2015) offers a visual metaphor for the correlation between virtual escapism and physical abjection. Throughout a number of large-scale photographic prints, Rafman stages juxtaositions between cluttered keyboards (each one “themed,” in a way, with its own personality, whether it’s glamor mags and makeup, or energy drinks and anime colouring books) and, in place of a computer screen, appropriated landscape paintings from the Romantic era and Hudson River School. The further twist is that the surface of each print is splattered with translucent resin, suggesting either ejaculate or a glaze of spilled soda, functioning in either case as a gross materiality that blocks access to the hoped-for sublime, or the by-product of actually finding it. The quest for transcendence, Rafman implies, despoils its object rather than ennobling its subject.
keyboardwaterfallclutterarchival pigment printpolystyreneresin