Adam Cruces, Indrikis Gelzis and Louisa Gagliardi “Tastes Like headaches” at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga
“Fragile reverie bleaches the real and paints over it, washed out, without depth, in thin, contiguous layers, a somnolent world into which the dreamer sinks and is lost,” wrote Jean-Luc Nancy about the dream, the “ﬁne thread” of which “entraps in the way a spider holds prisoner the antennae of an insect caught in its web.” Upon waking you lack edges, as you did in dreams. Were you caught in silk the same way? You wished for landscapes but were short-sighted (or delimited by some non-ontogenical actor). Each meal illuminated by a scrying candle, you wish yourself less porous, because entry and exitways required management, and your work life was overwhelming enough. Your failures named you Pierrot, so you tighten your ruﬀ.
A second rider enters your car and chooses the passenger seat. They connect their phone to the car stereo, invoking some fungible barrage of downtempo synths, as if to say, “even my ipseity has a sonic quality to it.” You understand this desire as always already occurring, though it sublimates diﬀerently depending on the month or year or sales quotas. Too much time had passed for a lapsarian question to remain. To avoid introspection, you turn your head and ﬁxate on the Paciﬁc, knowing that the silk-bearing spider wishes it were the pelagic Halobates. Aﬅer all, the Halobates is more altruistic, able to be collected by researchers to serve as testing subjects for oceanic metal pollution. Access to such a vast body––what bliss––to uncover the lie of every Pret a Manger and have each area of Earth as one’s home, to become the terminal cartographer. Instead she is stuck with leaves.
Later you ﬁnd you’ve accumulated foreign metals in your blood, much like the Halobates. Your last chemistry panel in August measured potassium, carbon dioxide, glucose, creatinine and the anion gap, which you tried to calculate yourself using this formula:
[Na+] – [Cl-] – [HCO3-]
Quick attempts at mathematics helped alleviate your consistent brain fog, but now you were reduced to only your garments: bronze frames, 95% cotton denim, dyed lamb’s wool. Wool made you feel like the spider. Your enemies had resigned themselves to geophasia. I thought this ability to morph beneﬁcial to my job prospects? Returning to the scrying candle you ﬁnd its wax depleted. You return to your resting place in the stage of the amphitheater and capitulate to anonymous limbs under spotlights.
Tastes Like Headaches acknowledges contemporary lifestyle as an assemblage of rickety, fraught conditions and symptoms that are simultaneously viewed and maintained as solutions. Collaborative works by Adam Cruces and Louisa Gagliardi show obscured faces in lightless backgrounds; Cruces’ acrylic painting over Gagliardi’s digital works printed on PVC vinyl present physical interventions over a subject that has succumbed to the blurry, furtive nature of a machinic sociability and economy. Additionally, Cruces’ exhibits works made from mesh, creating outlines made from popcorn. Sculptural works using Elizabethan-era ruﬀ make reference to aristocracy, classical painting and how bourgeois lifestyles are sublimated today through garments. Finally, video works by Cruces yield to quotidian situations in which subjects are resigned to adverse spatio-temporal conditions, using Uber and the spider’s web as examples.
Indriķis Ģelzis’ sculptures made with steel tubes are outﬁtted with anthropic symbols that interrogate the idea of direct, universal realism and reﬂexes amongst contemporary art objects. His works read as glyphs that are unable to be decoded using a conventional, inchoate lexicon of mere abstraction. Moreover, the sculptures’ lack of a clear, conceptual telos is a rupturing of the claim that the object’s aﬀectability and creation always already contain a narrative substructure that easily aﬀord understanding.
Text by Kyle Thomas Hinton. A writer and researcher based in Los Angeles.
at kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga
until 12 March 2017