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.