The present’s title pairs the Spanish phrase for “soiled” with a deliberate misspelling of “determine”—a unfastened summation of Dean’s method to the topic as a tainted assemble that endures. Her visible observe is commonly rooted in language but takes over the place rhetoric fails, giving option to what can solely be sensed earlier than it may be stated. “Figuer Sucia” marks a shift from the tidier process of deconstruction towards the visceral results of deformation: when the factor in query will not be picked aside however contorted and altered, confronting us with its new actuality.
Extending Dean’s ongoing pursuit of artwork that fashions the construction of Blackness—as a blurring of the symbolic and materials registers—“Figuer Sucia” continues within the vein of her latest Renaissance Society exhibition, Abattoir U.S.A.! Utilizing comparable technological options to problem the capability for illustration, right here Dean produces a strong object by decidedly digital means. Her newest set of sculptures derive from a figurine of a Friesian warhorse (“figuer,” it seems, is an archaic spelling within the Germanic dialect of Previous Frisian). The small plastic toy was scanned and multiplied to supply 3D replicas that sustained a battery of simulated collisions. The ensuing sculpture provides plastic type to the result of this born-digital occasion, painted in the identical primer grey favored by the software program that provided it. As Dean describes the work’s peculiar order of operations, “actual motion in illusory area turns into an illusory hint of motion in actual area.” The natural type of the horse is barely recognizable, although the work retains a way of motion—like a material examine, or the twisted metallic of a John Chamberlain crushed-car sculpture. And whereas Dean’s earlier objects have riffed on the clean types of predecessors corresponding to Robert Morris, Friesian Mare recasts the Minimalists’ relational framework by introducing express content material: “In the event you put a determine by means of this course of as an alternative of a dice,” she asks, “does it elicit one thing extra from the viewer?” Presenting us with the tangible affect of a simulation’s harmful blows, Dean rewires the affective response that violence may in any other case elicit.
Flanking the sculpture on all sides is a collection of wall works on aluminum panels, printed with emptied, atmospheric photos of the sky in contrasting climate. The scenes originated as hand-painted backdrops for episodes of Looney Tunes, which Dean encountered on-line and digitally scrubbed of their characters, leaving solely the area between and behind them. Non-images of a kind, these hazy skies bear seen traces of the numerous conversions they’ve undergone (scratches on the movie’s celluloid, pixelation). Dean thinks of every as an interchangeable backdrop in opposition to which the motion within the gallery performs out; like stage flats that again the figures—the sculpture and its viewers—whereas they do what protagonists do. The skies additionally recall the mythos of the American West, with its wide-open areas and limitless vistas; but every is loosed from the land with no horizon to floor it and fractured on the seams, the picket struts holding the panels collectively left visibly uncovered. That very same sense of artificial Americana extends to Dean’s exhibition design: guests should go by means of a pair of saloon doorways painted pink. The doorways mark a threshold that can also be a passage, although it’s unclear the place it leads—their doubled hinges swing open and closed in each instructions, eroding the road between who’s inside and who’s out.
at Greene Naftali, New York
till June 17, 2023