A quick incision has been made with a steady hand manipulating a sharp instrument. As you peel back glossy layers one by one, internal workings are laid unnervingly bare. Typically out of sight, the soft, twitchy interior was always the most seductive part to you. Yet, now knowing how the mechanics work complicates your perception of the whole. To your horror, the inner folds and wiring are now unfurling far beyond their ordained container.
The fictionalized mechanics and hardware of luxury watches and fine jewelry in Carolina Fusilier’s enigmatic New Kind of Sun, 2021 paintings on panel expand upon the sci-fi sleekness of advertising aesthetics, and the ways in which modern life revolves around commodities. Emerging from an ambiguous abyss, Fusilier’s metallic, nearly sentient structures catch and reflect the eerily placed light source of consumer culture.
Nebular Homemaker Rig 2, 2022 continues Priscilla Jeong’s ongoing dissection of hierarchies and labor systems through metaphors of mechanics. Intricately assembled, blackened vertebrae emblazon the front of the wall piece, while delicate leather cables tangled deep within are evocative of a spinal cord and nervous system at once protected and compromised. With industrial materials tightly and meticulously placed into its cavity, the inherent tension and sentimental resiliency of Jeong’s piece is distinctly palpable.
Mapping mental space into physical space, Sylvie Hayes-Wallace considers accumulation as a means to address psychological heaviness. My Paranoia (Do You Ever Worry You Will Get Something in Your Eye and Go Blind?), 2018-2022 documents years of the artist’s selfies of her eye – these images are sent to loved ones to verify the physical integrity of her eye. On the adjacent wall, a cage-like wall work titled Arousal, 2022 is based on the dimensions of an aroused vagina, yet snippets of medical safety data sheets, cigar wrappers, and a Hallmark envelope are neurotically interwoven through the piece’s orifices.
Initially imperceptible, a micro-ecosystem of Umico Niwa’s Daphnes perform life throughout the space: running rampant, fruiting, and blossoming. Much like insects unconcerned with the trivialities and boundaries of human life, the Daphnes’ twig-like bodies parade triumphantly within crevices inaccessible to our own clunky bodies. Labyrinthine pencil drawings explore more elaborate potentials of worlds built solely for Daphnes – impossibly fantastical spaces that intentionally ignore considerations of the man-made environment.
Sydney Shen’s gargantuan, uncanny earring back, Zotty (Violet Gland), 2021, implicates the gallery wall itself as an enormous pierced skin. Across the room, two of Shen’s calf weaners adorned with baby potatoes jut out menacingly. The ready-made agricultural wearables prevent a calf from drinking milk from its mother, cutting a natural maternal relationship short. Shen’s drolly macabre gestures point to the intrinsically absurd undertones of our collective historical past and the evolving present.
Tautly bound to the architecture and absorbing ambient light within the space, Karinne Smith’s membrane works are constructed from swaths of collagen typically used for sausage casings. Trapping glass beads, crab claws, hair ties, mosquitoes, and an array of quotidian objects within the silicone-topped collagen, Smith’s sculptures congeal the beautiful with the abject, and desire with repulsion. The porousness and tactility of Smith’s materials recall a lived-in skin, inconclusively marred by the pleasures and pressures of femininity.
– curated by Moira Sims, 2022