The Random Transparent: An Interview with Christopher Lusher

The Random Transparent is the perfect title for our collective personal destinies; and if you don't believe destiny, than the course of our lives in the 21st century. It is also the perfect title for Christopher Lusher's upcoming show which illustrates those same destinies. Using found imagery and a myriad of other materials, Lusher highlights the seemingly random chaos and violence that fells us and serves us, like existential gasoline.  On view this Friday at Blank Gallery in West Virginia, Lusher serves as sort of Virgil to the Dante's Inferno of our own eternal purgatory with blown out images of suicides, glimpses of horror in American history, splatters of paint in Rorschach patterns, and more. Lusher's The Random Transparent is a mirror to a zeitgeist of war and commerce in an American igloo of beauty, confusion and false ideals. See interview and more images from the show after the jump. 

PAS UN AUTRE: The title of the show is The Random Transparent – what was the inspiration behind the name?

CHRISTOPHER LUSHER: I had been dealing with such dark subject matter for so long that I wanted to take it in a different direction. The show was initially called UGLY/ANIMAL and was going to be an exhbition in multiple parts featuring a short film along with alot of found and manipulated imagery. I was talking with my best friend and we got on the topic of Heavens Gate. That crazy fucking cult where everyone ate poisoned applesauce and died with their Nikes on. I couldn't get that iconic image out of my head of them under the blankets with their shoes hanging out. Then I thought of that image of Kurt Cobain in the greenhouse when he was discovered and you can just see his shoe and part of his leg. I juxtaposed those images together and that was the starting point. I just began collecting so many images and they all ended up being death related so I fucked myself. I ended up painting and patching the gallery when 'THE RANDOM TRANSPARENT' came to me. To make new minimal works and things that were made quite randomly and minimally. I wanted a different feel for this show and I think I accomplished that. A few of the original images are in this show but only five. The rest are paintings and two collages.

AUTRE: I love the title of the show because its such a fitting term for our existence - is life itself random or transparent or both?

LUSHER: Life is so random but thats what makes it exciting. How random is true love? You cant plan for that shit and thats what makes it so special I think. Id prefer to believe that I lead somewhat of a random life. I hate plans and all the disappointment they often bring. As far as being transparent i feel thats a bit different. We live in a country that was built on secrets but in a sense those in power are the same ones whose agendas are incredibly transparent. Day to day people are the same really. Lots of agendas and when you hear from someone that you havent in some time it can sometimes be due to something you've accomplished and thats kinda shit as far as I'm concerned. In a way life is definitely both of these things just in different and not so literal ways.

AUTRE: What are some of the mediums used in this series?

LUSHER: Found imagery, newspaper clippings, acrylic paint, paper, dirt, cigarette ashes, beer, coffee, flowers, chalk and glue all used to create the image and again in a very random way.

AUTRE: I think I saw an image....the famous photograph of The Falling Man...taken on 9/11 - can you describe that piece?

LUSHER: Well, its just so amazing. The thing I love about it is if you look at the building behind him it looks like the American flag without the stars. My initial intent was to blow the images out so much you couldn't really tell what they were but with that one its too incredible as it is so I used minimal distortions when messing with it. I also considered filling in the stars as they would be on the flag but that image stands on its own. So to speak.

AUTRE:Can you describe your favorite piece from the series?

LUSHER: Another found image a friend directed me to. Its a woman who jumped off of a building in New York and landed on a car collapsing it. That one I blew out really hardcore and it just looks like a series of dots now. The idea of people not having a point of reference for what theyre looking at it is exciting to me. It's when they know and have those "eureka" moments thats really interesting.

AUTRE: How long is the show on for?

LUSHER: Every show I have had at BLANK has been a one night only type of thing. This time is no different though I do get flack for that but I cant exactly afford to have someone in there at various hours. I mean I eat hot dogs for lunch every fucking day.

The Random Transparent will be on view at Blank Gallery in West Virginia Friday May 25. Christopher Lusher is also the editor of Hillbilly Magazine. Text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper for Pas Un Autre