Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
PARAPLANNER Def.: an all-purpose assistant; a number-cruncher; a paper-pusher.
For Paraplanner At Roy G Biv Erbacher slips into the mind-set of an imaginary accountant. A type rather than any particular individual Erbacher’s accountant humorously embodies as well as subverts some of the cultural clichés commonly associated with the profession: discipline, perfectionism, compliance, and unoriginality.
With Electra, Commodore, Gateway, Selectra II, and Smith-Corona Erbacher presents a series of paintings created by her accountant alter-ego, who occupies his spare time with solitary hobbies such as rock collecting and Sunday painting. Each painting shows a cropped image of a computer or typewriter keyboard that has methodically been broken down into a “painting by numbers” system and meticulously filled in. The subject matter is seemingly uninspired, an everyday part of the accountant’s natural habitat, the office. The method of painting surrenders fluidity, uncertainty and discovery in favour of a process that is quantifiable, systematic and logical.
The keyboard paintings also reflect an on-going concern with language in Erbacher’s oevre. In particular, she interrogates the role of language as a system through which certain regimes of thought can be established, perpetuated, as well as undermined. By emphasising the character of language as a construct through a formal play on difference and repetition – in this case it is a cropped image of the same set of letters on different keyboards - she thus opens up a space of ambiguity and potential disorder.
In addition to the keyboard paintings, the center of the gallery is occupied by a sculpture resembling an Ikea DIY project gone wrong. Bertram, which is titled to allude to the popular Swedish furniture house’s much ridiculed product names, is made of laminated chipboard, an economical material used to mass-produce cheap home and office furniture. Originally part of a wardrobe, the modules have been cut, manipulated and re-joined in a way that is both considered as it is non-sensical reflecting the endless effort of someone who is trying to follow instructions yet does not understand the workings of the separate parts in the bigger picture.
Bertram/ Ingolf 2015, laminated chipboard, Installation view, Paraplanner, Roy G Biv, Columbus, OH
Bertram, 2015, laminated chipboard, 20 x 20 x 60in
Ingolf, 2015, laminated chipboard, 16 x 10in
Gateway 2000, 2015, oil on board, 14 x 11in
Electra, 2015, oil on board, 14 x 11in
Commodore, 2015, oil on board, 14 x 11in
Selectra II, 2015, oil on board, 14 x 11in