WHAT: Carol Rama "Antibodies" WHERE: New Museum, New York WHEN: 07/09/17, about 3:00pm
"I choose these things - prostheses false teeth shaving brushes razors urinals - beacause they are what I like best. They are victims of what they are, and there is no cure for them, no chance of changing" - Carol Rama
Un indigeno cammina sul cornicione di un tempio greco Ha ali cucite da bulbi oculari, Sta in bilico tra la vita e la morte, Col cielo nero sopra la testa E i serpenti viola in basso, nell'abisso. Lontano dagli specchi Piedi neri spuntano dal magma indifferenziato di animali pennuti e nuvole veloci Il vento soffia ma non su di me Un solo comando: Defecare e tenere fuori la lingua Lo sforzo in entrambe le direzioni per espiare colpe non mie.
Vesto la mia coroncina perché mi voglio distinguere da te, che sei maschio e pelato. Con te arrivo, ma non volo, Con le tue ali arrivo e basta. I tuoi occhi scuri sono coperti da un velo opaco. Il tuo pene nero è storto. Sono nuda, in piedi, troneggio sulla schiena di un toro con le corna basse. Da qua, con i piedi che affondano sulla schiena del toro incazzato Vedo il mondo. È sottosopra, un'elegia di puntini colorati Che con grazia e disincanto Danzano tutto intorno a me Illudendomi che le forme non esistano.
[Status of Liberty è una rubrica a cadenza imprevedibile che trascrive in tempo reale descrizioni e pensieri in libertà. Flussi di emozioni e di incoscienza].
In “All that is solid melts into eros,” Bradley Eros modifies a famous phrase from the first chapter of the Communist Manifesto, adding human life to the concepts of natural philosophy that Marx uses to explain societal changes and political systems. Through elementary forms and ephemeral objects created with common materials such as ash, foil, and paper, Eros restores ideas of nature and natural processes, where culture had prevailed with arrogance.
Eros’s pieces, hymns to impermanence, are continually reshaped through spare, playful, and ritualistic actions (viewers are also encouraged to aid in their transformations). The works are distributed around the space in groups based on the classical elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Each group is considered a series, and their titles and dates are updated regularly. In “ice (3.16.18)” (all works 2018), colorful, sensual strips of 16-mm film, AA batteries, an audiocassette tape, CDs, DVDs, and other items of obsolete technology slowly emerge from melting of blocks of ice. It calls to mind disintegrating glaciers, detritus found on beaches, or, even worse, islands of garbage floating in the Pacific. “Ashes to ashes, light to light (3.16.18),” a meditation on rebirth and prophecy, is a 35-mm slide projection made from the remains of burned writings. It snakes along the gallery’s walls. It’s a drawing that accompanies viewers on their tour of the show, and a mystical element that shapes the present and future from marks left in the past.
Eros is a shaman, an alchemist—an artist who uses transformation as a medium. His “trash” materials and deft gestures, simple as they may seem, brilliantly and steadfastly resist commodification. Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.
There is a different Laurel Nakadate on view in this exhibition. The woman here—no longer a catalyst in extreme social experiments, as she was in a number of well-known earlier projects—is a mother who reflects on her own family and personal history.
In “The Kingdom” (all works cited, 2018), the series that gives the show its title, thirty-four digital photomontages depict Nakadate’s infant son inserted into vintage photographs of the artist’s mother, who died shortly after his birth. The little boy, traversing space and time, appears in a variety of scenarios: resting peacefully in his grandmother’s lap when she was a young bride, all in white for her wedding day (The Kingdom #2); or clutched to her chest in a picnic picture and flanked by her sun-kissed friends, her leonine face framed by a gorgeous mass of wavy hair (The Kingdom #10). Nakadate played a marginal role in the execution of these pictures—she hired anonymous digital artists to create them, with only one guideline: to make it look like her mother is always holding her grandchild.
Executive Order 9066 features more photos of Nakadate’s happy and carefree son, but it is a deceptively buoyant piece: The 180 images in this work correspond to the days of her father’s detainment in a Hunt, Idaho, internment camp for Japanese American citizens. Many of these camps were erected after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor during World War II—just one example of vicious US xenophobia. Though the artist’s narratives unveil the tragedies within multiple generations of her family, they are nonetheless girded by the hope of new beginnings. Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.