Folly as a Lens For Suggestion
Galilean orbital irrigation structures are linked to diagrammatic catenary arcs: a cat’s cradle mapping water passage to suspended planetary-plants rising from mobile platforms. Part sci-fi rave aesthetic, part applied –if arcane— ecological science, the device purifies New York’s increasingly toxic water supply under the guise of a futuristic urban, social garden.
Utilizing locally sourced components and plants (to be returned) COSMO exposes previously hidden industrial domains as potentially manageable, vibrant and locally viable systems. Enmeshed within an art-party glamour the glowing, lollipop seduction verifies that ecosystemic infrastructure, when properly manifested, can also serve as a social aggregator and communal purifier.
~ Ryder Richards
images credit: Miguel de Guzmán. Imagen Subliminal
Flesh, cast in warm limelight, is tangerine-strawberry in Teenage Dream. Grace Weaver’s paintings offer extracurricular mise en scènes, where bodies behave like stage props when they support, form, and “move” in response to their individual environments. In Match Point, buoyant arms and legs swoop around the painting’s periphery as if they were curtains unveiling the adversary of a higgledy-piggledy tennis game. Although the artist credits pop-songs to her narratives, the gestures of its jelly-like citizens also suggest they are in cadence with a Gladys Nilsson landscape or Matisse’s Dance II; the figures bounce to a lyrical beat.
~ Amie Cunat
images courtesy of Thierry Goldberg Gallery
Looking like something a child might create in their first revelation of sculpture, Chris Bradley’s Clyde calls to mind a Quixotic day dream. Cast bronze and oil paint create the illusion of a casual construction of hot glued pretzel sticks.
This feigned naivety is Bradley’s signature. In a plebeian vocabulary of produce, junk food, and beer, these trompe l’oeil objects tempt an escapist notion; daydreaming of paradise while having a cold one. Banal moments of the everyday become animated, taunting with their own awkward existences, reflecting a glimpse of human desire in a greasy aluminum pizza box.
Barnett adopts the role of early retiree to reflect sentimentally on subjects of personhood. Pets, living arrangements, employment, and parenthood become material for generating sculptural and pictorial hyper-presence, a process of looking backward and inward to make something seemingly lost present again. Xerox photographic depictions of childhood antics, abstracted details from greeting cards sent by relatives no longer living, and re-re-appropriated objects build a visual maze of tragicomic sensibility. Domestic content becomes an agent for introspection, where a young man simultaneously rediscovers himself through the unceasing wonderment of his toddler son and the premonition of a much older self.
images courtesy of Goss Michael Foundation
Embot (Teacher)  Mirror Stage: Visualizing the Self After the Internet
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas [link]
The video Embot (Teacher) addresses the relationship between humans and machines, specifically technological advances made in Artificial Intelligence. Catala’s video portrait is a computer animated young boy who speaks with an emotionless human voice, expressing statements such as “I’m alive” or “I’m hungry”. Unlike the characters in the films Chappie and Ex Machina, this boy’s expressions and gestures are a bit off, suggesting he hasn’t yet mastered human qualities and emotions. Feeling embarrassed at the machine’s inadequate attempts to evoke human emotion, we are further discomfited by the knowledge that our uniqueness could be replicable, rendering us obsolete.
~ Colette Copeland
images courtesy of the DMA