Monday, December 7, 2020


From the entrance of the exhibition space at Catriona Jeffries Gallery are four of the six works in Liz Magor's Downer -- three on the floor (Shaved, Coiffed and Dressed, 2020), two hanging from the ceiling (Delivery [red] and Delivery [brown], 2018) and a wall work (Migros Shopper, 2020).

The floor works attract me, particularly the first one, Shaved. A "space" machine, as evidenced by its constituent parts: a skirted (curtained?) platform that brings to mind a bed, on which sits a "cast" of packaging materials (wrapping paper), a silicone rubber dog (pet?) on a faux fur blanket and the remains of someone's lunch (a cake box and a cardboard coffee holder). A "space" machine in the way a bed, not a dining table, becomes the surface on which a production (gift wrapping) is staged.

Our world is accelerating, though Covid has us slowing down. Our world is expanding through a de-centralization of symbolic power, yet shrinking because more and more of us are forced into economies where we can afford less and less room in which to live. That Covid has us spending more time at home has us experiencing this shrinking feeling in ways that allow certain of us to identify with a work that has one activity overlaying an object we associate with another -- rest. If there is an art work that best exemplifies Byung-Chul Han's concept of "auto-exhaustion", Shaved might just be it.

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