Meredith James received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 2004 and her Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 2009. She has shown at various galleries including Jack Hanley Gallery (NY), Marc Jancou Contemporary (NY), Interstate Projects (Brooklyn, NY), David Castillo Gallery (Miami, FL), NurtureArt (Brooklyn, NY),LaMontagne Gallery (Boston, MA), Newman Popiashvili Gallery (NY), and Rivington Arms (NY). She has received fellowships from The Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, Vermont Studio Center, Lighthouse Works, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, and Sculpture Space. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2011 and was an artist in residence at Abrons Art Center in 2014.
My videos and sculptures explore the workings of perception and the fallibility of observation, pursuing the surprising, even disorienting, potential in the world around us. I make use of optical phenomena like reflection and perspectival shifts in scale to reveal the fluid nature of objects and places.
I aim for each video to dislodge itself from the physical laws of the real world, and thus make the process of watching it akin to exposure to an alternate dimension. Architecture falls away, flattens and repeats itself in such a way that seems to trap the characters in a layered, ever-changing space. Rooms fold into other rooms, changing materially or digitally over the course of a given video. These physical changes produce a narrative independent from the actions of the characters, one informed by the adjustments the viewer must make as the rules are continuously dismantled.
Just as video and film develops over time, my sculptures and installations seem to unfold or become more complex over the course of the viewer’s encounter with them. The logic of this work depends on the viewer’s interaction; it is only through an active process of looking, whether peering through a peep-hole, gazing through a camera, or opening a door that a piece becomes complete.
My sculpture at Socrates Sculpture Park, “Far from this setting in which we now find ourselves,” is an optical illusion called an Ames room. From a distance, the sculpture looks like an off-kilter, trapezoidal garden but when you look through a camera from the viewfinder in front of the piece, the garden appears perfectly symmetrical while people standing inside the sculpture appear to be radically different sizes. In this piece, both the viewer and the people inside the sculpture become part of the larger installation and the sculpture itself becomes a kind of stage or vessel for their actions.