The Austin Chronicle


The artist's solo show commits to incorrect memory and reconstructed imaginations with playfulness and poignance

Reviewed by Caitlin Greenwood, February 28, 2014, Arts

Pump Project Art Complex, 702 Shady
Through March 15

In "Faring Well," Megan Carney's process of combining photography, design, and architecture evolves to convey poignant memories. Showing for the second time at Pump Project, but solo for the first time, the artist has cemented her work in both design and sculpture. Fans of Carney who recall her previous work in photography will be happy to find that the photographic elements in this show are as strong as ever, but have new context with the exhibition's 3-D inclusions.

While Carney does not shy away from offering personal descriptors in her work, "Faring Well" showcases the artist's imaginative and humorous sides. Taut Basketball, one of the aforementioned sculptural inclusions, juts out of the gallery wall while Sand and Fake Sand studies textural differences and ventures some sarcastic commentary about the consumption of items bearing manufactured authenticity. The show's focal point, a framed photograph of a pool's surface, titled Parallel Pool sits at the center of the gallery. The bright blue of the water feels both serene and starkly fake against its soft, pecan wood frame. It offers a perfect thesis of Carney's exhibition, as an exploration of hyperbole and falsehood adherent to the process of resurrecting memory.

"Faring Well" is a study of what we know to be true and what we accept as a manufactured stand-in, but without judgment for relying on second-best. It commits to incorrect memory and reconstructed imaginations and delights in giving these instances new life. It is an exciting new era in Carney's work, as the exhibition offers the most conceptual complexity of any of Carney's previous collections but does not allow that nuance to distract from the playfulness of the pieces. With this show, Carney has proven herself as an artist to watch.

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