Rendered in coloured pencil on black-gessoed paper, Samantha Roth’s drawings exude the dim luminance and irrational spatiality of X-rays and somniferous visions, evoking the eerie, unmoored experience of times and sites melting jointly for the duration of Covid-19 lockdowns. In the 7 semiautobiographical parts here, the artist meanders by way of her pandemic reflections, routinely veering into private quirks in get to unpack the obsessive, voyeuristic, and paranoiac tendencies that surfaced for so quite a few of us throughout extra than two yrs of isolation. Her show’s title, “Duplex,” not only refers to the variety of residence she lives in, but also emphasizes the interplay in between darkness and mild, concerning concealment and revelation in this imagery.
In Head to Head, 2021, Roth imagines a radiographic watch by way of her bed room and into her neighbor’s dwelling. The layered transparencies of jumbled furniture intermingling across independent flats express a portentous nonetheless marginally comical mood of confusion and condition. Furthering this narrative of impracticable motivation for distant interaction, Eavesdropper, 2021—a drawing aptly exhibited by itself in a little chamber—features the titular matter urgent their higher overall body in opposition to a wall as a phantasmal arm materializes guiding the determine, ostensibly attempting to embrace them.
Tensions concerning transgression and tenderness are specifically pointed in Cactus Smuggler (Nail File), 2022. Listed here, the matter insouciantly grooms her fingernails though hiding about two dozen plant cuttings beneath her apparel, diligently taped to her overall body. According to the artist, this piece was impressed by pangs of self-identification in reading information article content about a spate of vegetation traffickers. In these stories, Roth acknowledged her personal penchant for from time to time snitching succulent clippings to fill out her garden. As in other drawings, she modeled the figure right after herself, nevertheless omitted distinguishing options to leave the thief’s identification open-ended.
Alluding to the artifice driving these quasi-confessional stagings, Two, To, Way too, 2022, portrays a flat file with various drawers tantalizingly ajar, revealing peeks of paper masks, doodles of cats, cactus cuttings, and the artist’s scribbled signature—just enough element to allow for inquisitive viewers to fill in the gaps with fancy, as an eavesdropper would.