The prayers of well-wishing citizens are sent to Hiroshima in the form of thousands of pounds of colorful origami cranes. In a transmutation from cultural meme to sacred rubbish the totems are classified as “non-burnable” trash. This semantic redefinition of folded paper formalizes a social contract wherein sympathetic gestures eclipse the value of environmental or infrastructure concerns, converting social consideration into a societal burden: an ever-expanding archive of care. Maintained by the state, the trash-chive converts morally beneficent acts into sanctioned eco-terrorism, conflating objecthood with fulfillment of a sympathetic ritual.
Employing absurdist humor, Kinnaird’s exhibition riffs on Camus’ Sisyphus myth. Although many artists experience existential crises in the search for validation and meaning in their work, the timeliness of Kinnaird’s exhibit in context with the past 1year46days0hours44minutes36seconds resonates with a strong Barthesian punctum. The collapsed shopping cart of bricks and the grad-school dartboard reference the despair facing artists mired in mountains of art-school debt combined with the current bleak political culture. Using the metaphor of play, Kinnaird’s “games” provide diversion, while simultaneously pinpointing the futility of said gestures. Yet Camus’ ultimate message is about revolt. And we only have 1049days8hours26minutes24seconds left.
~ Colette Copeland
photos courtesy of the Reading Room, by Kevin Todora
Tethered and taught, 21,120 meters of tape stretch into a translucent organ, squeaking and groaning as squirming, curious museum goers crawl through its aortal expanses. Choosing populist excess –cheap tape and labor instead of high-end fabrication— allows patrons near familiarity, prompting magical wonder at the common’s transformative ability. Inside the womb, externalities of sight and sound muted, the individual is left to entertain the alien familiarity of an organic space, or retreat from such existentialism to our digital umbilicus as experiential intermediary. Externally, the blurred shadow’s peristaltic migration is regarded, jealously, as the latest morsel consuming a novelty.
~ Ryder Richards
all images by the author
Paper into Sculpture
curated by Catherine Craft
The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas [link]
The digital has emerged as the primary material for communication, replacing paper. Works featured in this exhibition engage paper’s historical links to systems of knowledge and its material (im)possibilities in intimate and epic works that render the invisible: time, space, and cycles of decay. The sacro-profane nature of paper is conceptualized from maps and scrolls to shredded, torn, and crumpled refuse. Franz West’s Sisyphos IX, 2002 confounds, as paper’s fragility is recast as an enduring mass. In Noriko Ambe’s Inner Water, an intricately cut wave unfurls, like pages, in a glacier-slow persistence of vision. In Marco Maggi’s Global Myopia, an encrypted topography of tiny, cut particulates is a metaphor for more is less in the information age.
~ Sara Cardona
images by Ryder Richards
Annie Vought offers a fresh approach to papercutting traditions without compromising personal sensibilities. Further achieved through repurposed paper from her father’s sketchbooks and written letters, Vought generates a new vernacular and stream-of-conscious poetics decipherable for only brief moments in time. Intimacy exists in scale and clandestine conversations started by the artist, as whispers of thoughts and barely existing with more negative space than physical paper. Lacking words altogether in several pieces, these contain non-verbal communication as dynamic rhythms attempting to convey messages where Vought reveals the futility of complete comprehension in language through playful gesture and serious investigation.
– Jake Weigel
images courtesy of Jack Fischer Gallery
Sachs’ new focus, in coopting and hyperventilating the “religion” of the Japanese tea ceremony, manifests as highly American provisional approximations. Embodying the reductive apparatus of utilitarianism whereby traditional systems or concepts can become lightweight, cheap and nomadic embraces Eco’s “Travels in Hyperreality” or Venturi/Brown’s “Learning from Las Vegas” sign-as-system culture. Taken to insane levels of excess, one can track the adept’s passionate re-valuation through selective interpretation: a whisk becomes motorized = shortcut, while only one in one-hundred handmade bowls is acceptable.
This conversion to American systemic foibles dialogizes contradictory knowledge through subjective insight, allowing the possibility for rich, discursive reappraisal.
~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of the Nasher Sculpture Center