Leah Mackin’s Swipe Series initially appears as a group of foreboding matrices: velvet pools of toner on evenly crushed, embossed paper or desolate steel sheet. Through folding, collaging, and mounting, the automated character of each is transformed into a delicate remnant. Their once superlative surfaces now marred by the necessity of human touch, expose their fragility and, in display, leave us with images of prior utility now barren. Like memorials these pieces acknowledge the touch that sustains them, yet leave us to question whether that touch, perhaps a metaphor for human intervention elsewhere, should be mourned or celebrated.
The Plague Year invites us into a space where a state of tension between physical and immaterial is perpetually suspended. An invisible figure stands, seemingly exposed only by means of being dredged and pulled from a technicolor mire, left dripping with the muck of cultural detritus. Baldwin’s eclectic language of materials paired with the figure, or lack thereof, question the expansive notions of how we define the individual, even ourselves. Cymbal stands supporting the figure probe even deeper for possible definitions, bringing to mind other undetected phenomena: vibrations, waves, and perhaps even hinting at ideas of Morton’s ominous hyperobject*.
One enters In Our Time to find Eli Gold conducting a quiet concerto using his own heartbeat as the time signature and directing an orchestra of four performing various physical and contemplative activities. Using chalk as his baton, he meticulously tallies each beat onto a monumental chalkboard, the sound of which is amplified to the performers hidden from his view.
Taking on sound and repetition as his primary devices, Gold cleverly highlights the gap between fabricated clockwork and fluid time as experience, while his inclusion of other performers evokes existential questions of the individual’s distinctive abilities to influence temporal perception.
photographs courtesy of Aaron Paden
Drogue registers an aura of narrative familiarity: the works are scattered artifacts of a recently undergone atmospheric voyage. Returned are snapshots in acrylic from the upper atmosphere –the periphery of great frontiers humankind can never fully comprehend. This imagery pleads for imagination, while roughly weathered parachute-like hoods antithetically exude physical reality. These tensile objects hang, skinned in burlap and leather, like aging bodies pocked from their cryptic past. Eley’s work reveals boundaries, specifically, limitations imposed by the tangible space we inhabit.
His ethereal imagery emphasizes curiosity’s perpetual nature, while the hoods resonate a subdued reminder that aspirations are vexed by corporeality.