Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Contact at Field Projects

Jacob Rhodes curated this fantastic group show at his new space, Field Projects! His space is on 26th street and on the same floor as Greene Naftali. This marvelous little painting was painted by Amanda Lechner.

There's a lot of current interest surrounding science-fiction in art. When space exploration became a reality in the summer of 69, artists such as Lee Bontecou were so caught up in the excitement of what was happening that they responded by creating entire bodies of work about space. It's curious to see how strong of a connection the current generation of artists feels towards science-fiction. There's so much nostalgia surrounding the sci-fi movies we grew up on, the gleaming space shuttles we visited as children, and the hideous freeze-dried astronaut food we devoured every chance we got, that it's unsurprising that science-fiction has become such an integral part of our collective memories. When I think of the famous French silent science-fiction film from 1902Trip to the Moon, it seems that there has always been and there always be a tendency for people to romanticize and mythologize space.

Hein Koh!!! Love Hein's sculpture and how it's installed, it has this bizarre surrealism that reminds me of Roberto Matta. I especially love the bottom piece with its sexy sleekness!

Micah Ganske. This sculpture was a 3-d print out. The theme of urban decay and dystopia is a common subject of science-fiction. Robert Smithson wrote extensively about science-fiction, it was the subject for much of his work. I tried to find the essay in which he compares the science-fiction genre to the horror genre, but I couldn't find it. Instead I found this gem, a Nabokov quote, "The future is but the obsolete in reverse." 

According to Smithson,  science-fiction takes on a cerebral, intellectualized stance whereas horror comes from a more visceral and irrational place. 

Man is the measure of all things, right? This was one of my favorite sculptures in the show. I love the comi-tragic contrast between the banal, frail reality of the man on his way out in relation to the sublime and infinite magnificence of the universe. I remember reading this comical Nancy Angier essay in which she was writing about the frustration astrophysicists feel when the average person on the street questions the purpose of measuring the millionth fraction of a second. We as humans definitely have a tendency to measure everything in relation to our own selves.

This sculpture also reminded me of Jake and Dinos Chapman's Ubermensch, which would also fit right in in Jacob's show. It's their sculpture of Stephen Hawking riding off a cliff with his laptop. The Dinos brothers are often hated for destroying our illusions.

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