Olaf Breuning commissioned a series of coffins to be created by Ghanaian casket makers. The design of eccentric coffins actually has a long history and tradition in Ghana, so to some this work is actually not that peculiar. Still, it’s not every day you see a coffin in the shape of a melting popsicle. More images of the coffins and the process of making them after the jump.
Historically, the formulas of Modernism have lent themselves to the imposition of structures on nature. Utilizing an economy of means, or a paring down of form, some artists have drawn attention to the processes and materials that they employ in order to comment on limitations inherent in human observation and experience. The impossibility of this search for certainty is prescient in a world rife with unforeseen technological advances and consequences. From Kurzweilian “singularities” to the embrace of dystopic or parallel hyper-realities, many artists today use Modernist tropes to draft odes to possible futures.
In the face of such infinitely malleable destinies, the ten artists selected for this exhibition remain undaunted. In bold, minimal and idiosyncratic terms, they propose new, decidedly un-grandiose, vernaculars through various mediums such as video, photography, and sculpture. Their works concern themselves with an intensely personal present tense, with lives lived and documented in real time. These works are inward, solipsistic, and in some instances, similar to an occult experience or an exercise in ritualized revelation. The art object is often left over from actions performed in service of an impossible quest, or crafted in playful celebration of it. These artists seem to exist in cultural peripheries, lobbing ruminations out of left fields, revealing epistemological truths—truths that have little or nothing to do with changing the world.
Featuring: Bas Jan Ader, Olaf Breuning, Jennifer Cohen, Scott Hug Kevin Lips, Niall McClelland, Jesse McLean, Kristie Muller, Rbt. Sps., Brent Stewart
July 28 – August 26, 2011 | Opening Reception: Thursday, July 28, 6-8pm
535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10011