Stephen G. Rhodes
Gallows Resistancy Recurrency
Rope, metal, wood, green screen and photographic elements
Stephen G. Rhodes Recurrency project was based on a film shown as part of his grade school curriculum. Based on a story by Ambrose Bierce, An Occurrence At Owl Creek (1962) chronicles the escape of a prisoner in the last moment before hanging; just as he returns to his home and wife, the film cuts to his death on the gallows – the story of the escape being the man’s final fantasy. Rhodes’s Recurrency consists of video, sculpture, installation, and drawing; Gallows Resistancy Recurrency is one of the primary pieces of this body of work.
Gallows Resistancy Recurrency embodies sensations of temporary reprieve. Taking the form of a makeshift execution platform, the impoverished based is smashed through with perfunctory violence, and paint is peeled away to reveal photographic elements, suggestive of both media and memory. The rope swoops forth, frozen in a line of both flight and pursuit; its empty noose is spot lit offering a divine hope in the promise of escape.