curated by 2019 - Transmissions curated by Alex Bacon
Transmissions curated by Alex Bacon
with works by: Nina Canell, K.R.M. Mooney, Nathlie Provosty, Jesse Stecklow, Lewis Stein
13 September – 12 October 2019
Contemporary Art Daily
Artforum by Yuki Higashino
Photos: Flavio Palasciano
Jesse Stecklow’s work similarly engages questions of feedback and the transmission and circulation of data within systems he builds himself. An air sampler work from 2014 is paired with a new sculpture that responds to a particular finding in the data collected by the earlier work: the ubiquity of corn-based products, and especially ethanol. Stecklow introduced text into the sculpture, riffing off of the familiar phrase “ear of corn” and the use of acetic acid (which is distilled from ethanol) to treat ear infections, creating an anagram that playfully highlighting the diversity of uses of the common crop and the elaborate systems around them, especially in the US, where corn production is heavily subsidized by the government.
The materials in K.r.m. Mooney and Nina Canell’s sculptures originate in the commercial world. For example, the electrical ribbon in Mooney’s violet ssi I—which, like Stein’s Flashing Lights, demarcates a closed circulatory system—and the subterranean cable in Canell’s Brief Syllable (Truncated), which makes visible the typically hidden physical infrastructure of digital communication technologies, displaying a severed segment of a cable used to transmit information across continents. As in Stein’s photograph, the materials in Mooney and Canell’s works have been severed from that world, their energy depleted in their removal from the flows of capital as postindustrial detritus cast off in capitalism’s drive towards ever-greater efficiency.
The show is rounded out by a diptych by painter Nathlie Provosty that invites us to consider imaginative alternatives to the oppressive conditions highlighted by the machinic physicality of the other works. Nearly monochrome, Provosty’s work requires attentive contemplation of the subtle variations in yellow tones before fully revealing the catenary structure of curving and linear forms that traverse the painting’s topography. These pathways around and through the canvases propose imagined courses for the viewer to embark on. Both immanent ones that lead insistently back to the factual materiality of paint on canvas, and visionary ones that suggest places that transcend them. Here the physical and the imaginary coexist.