Midway Contemporary Art presents an exhibition of Mitchell Syrop’s new work, It is better to shine than to reflect. The exhibition, as Midway Contemporary Art describes it, “brings together a new installation of his high school yearbook series from the 1970s with his photographic work from the early 1980s that was influenced by the advertising strategies and mechanisms of that period. Syrop began combining text and image in the mid-1970s following his move from New York to Los Angeles. His interest in public advertising developed as a young student in New York, and became an explicit focus in his work once he started graduate school at CalArts where he gained access to film and image reproduction technology. The availability of such technology, combined with the scale and breadth of LA’s advertising and television industries, was of particular importance to Syrop. In 1976 he created a short film, Watch It, Think It, that was 6 seconds long and was eventually edited for commercial broadcast on a local television station. The short sequence portrays a woman smiling and drinking from a glass of water within rapidly shifting graphic transitions. A voiceover repeats, “Watch it… Think It… Watch it… Think it”. Like some of the other works on view, the ambiguous nature of this pseudo commercial allows for numerous readings. Disconnected from any product, this work links itself to presentational modes at use in advertising.”
It is better to shine than to reflect is on view through October 25th.