Alex Ito “Act II: Carcass and the White Light” at Springsteen, Baltimore
“Act II: Carcass and the White Light” expands Ito’s ongoing investigation of the violence and intimacy embedded within popular visual culture and the historical narrative of progress within consumer culture. By employing the strategies of industrial image making, Ito’s work investigates how emotion is appropriated from the public and transformed into commodity; creating an economic circuit of dehumanization. “Act II: Carcass and the White Light” reveals a parasitic space that hides in plain sight within the landscape of everyday life.
For the exhibition, Ito presents a new body of painting depicting rapatronic images of nuclear explosions accompanied by the disjointed lettering of the word “hate”. Rapatronic imagery was developed to capture the varying stages of the atomic bomb explosions during the Trinity Test (1945). The word “HATE”, utilized as a foil to Robert Indiana’s iconic Pop image, “LOVE”, and an expansion from General Idea’s “Image Virus”, repeats itself in each canvas; displaying the desensitization and compression of violence in contemporary popular culture.
The most prominent sculpture, titled I’ve only ever known evil, is a rectilinear form with a dark figure embedded within a submerged cavity at the center of the surface. The figure is clad in the attire of a kuroko stagehand from Japanese theater that has been ceremoniously assaulted by images and objects of industry. Rising from the figure’s torso is a mechanical rotating platform that harnesses an organically grotesque and animalistic blown glass object. Appearing as if it were rising from the body, the blown glass sculpture is an interpreted hybrid of the Trinity Test photographs, bacteria and ornament; challenging the social and biological contract between products, violence and the administration of life. “I’ve only ever known evil” illustrates a display, a landscape and an industry inherited from the body as its developmental substrate.
at Springsteen, Baltimore
until 3 December 2016