New York City The ten graphite drawings and one salt sculpture that compose Banks Violette's latest exhibition at Team Gallery, "Not Yet Titled," are haunting creations; they're attempts to breathe life into subjects whose lives have been lost. The death of the painter Steve Parrino acts as the backdrop to the exhibition: In the gallery, the first thing that greets the audience is a black vinyl square on the floor, which evokes the oil slick on which Parrino's motorcycle slipped in a fatal crash. The black square is also a dimensional portal -- and a nod to Kazimir Malevich's masterpiece Black Square from 1915 -- on which an outward projecting arm of road case benches is placed that links the installation of drawings like satellites orbiting a planet. Each individual drawing possesses its own power and engages its viewer with different, often oblique viewpoints; some objects are out of focus, others are just out of reach. An inverted American flag is propped against the wall like a monolithic tombstone, a rigid, empty symbol of an empire in decline.
In a recent conversation, Violette said of his work, "It seems impossible that something visual could be picked over so cleanly that it doesn't seem like it could sustain more meaning. A flag is so over-determined, but when it gets re-animated usually it's a circle of violence like a corpse coming back to life in a zombie movie. When the dead come back to life usually it's not a positive result." Inside this reasoning-a somewhat cryptic overview of his artistic philosophy-lies the engine that generates much of Violette's art. The titles of his recent drawings are conceived of as if they were assigned by computer, a reminder of the digital files that will propagate their re-animation. Each is named as Not Yet Titled with a number that designates the order in which they were completed with no apparent hierarchy.