“Adam Pendleton: Toy Soldier,” put in in three black-box areas, integrates a number of ongoing flows of writing and studying. In a brand new set of small collages, Pendleton combines geometric kinds—circles and triangles—with metallic sprays, drips, and different shapes, conducting an improvisatory play of shadow and muted mild. Opaque black cut-outs dance throughout the foreground of every work. Spray-painted gestures, right here rendered in silver and obscured to close illegibility, create a via line with the spray-painted textual content of the Untitled (WE ARE NOT) work, during which a single phrase, “WE ARE NOT,” explodes into fields of combinatory language, filtered and modulated by overlapping strains that type ovals, triangles, and quadrilaterals.
Toy Soldier (Notes on Robert E. Lee, Richmond, Virginia/Strobe) (2021–22), the video work on the heart of the exhibition, performs each a detailed studying and a metamorphosis of its topic, a Nineteenth-century equestrian statue of Accomplice basic Robert E. Lee that stood from 1980 to 2021 in Richmond, Virginia, USA. Spotlights transfer at varied speeds throughout the statue and its graffiti-covered plinth, extracting sections of textual content—nearly in counterpoint with the black shapes that cross over the grounds of the collages. The Untitled (WE ARE NOT) work reveal and obscure their very own textual content, with overprinted whites and blacks forming unpredictable areas of luminosity and darkness that resonate with the roving circles and flashes of sunshine punctuating Toy Soldier (Notes on Robert E. Lee, Richmond, Virginia/Strobe).
The temporal zone of this video work is stroboscopic, someplace between movement and stillness. The photographs quickly flicker to absolute black and shuttle between enlarged, grainy footage of the overall and his horse set in opposition to a cloudless sky, the encompassing foliage, and the Richmond evening. A rating by Hahn Rowe interweaves the stuttering, digitally distorted voice of Amiri Baraka—from a 1980 studying of his poem “Dope”—with moments of orchestrated woodwinds, strings, and percussion. A number of distinct units of actions and views are repeatedly damaged down, reconstituted, and reversed. Archival images briefly show the monument’s scaffolding in addition to its 1890 unveiling: horse and rider shrouded in material, unrecognizable. Into this tone poem Pendleton additionally inserts a brand new determine: an actor standing impassively in entrance of the construction, silhouetted, ghostly, and infrequently barely seen.
As within the collages and work, the operations employed right here constantly show new features of the fabric at hand whereas writing, rewriting, and overwriting it. Toy Soldier (Notes on Robert E. Lee, Richmond, Virginia/Strobe) develops as a palimpsest in movement, one which confronts the “default geometries” with different modes of abstraction and illustration, with different pasts, futures, and aftermaths.
at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich
till November 26, 2022
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