Ragen Moss “8 Animals” at Bridget Donahue, New York
Two on-going pivot points continue to be centered in the work: asking sculpture to take up the question of interior space; and asking sculpture to productively press the linearity of language against the roundness of form.
These points are used to pivot around what it means to be a human operating with full spatiality.
The exhibition, “8 Animals”, keeps with these ideas; and this is a way to understand how the works are made.
Some other notes:
– Sculpture’s interiority. By using transparent materials, by overloading sculpture’s contour, and by embedding fully resolved sculptures inside each other in layers, the work asks how sculpture can be used to develop a new knowledge of interior space — to treat interiority not merely as a function of time or as the site where thought occurs, but instead totreat interiority as a function of the spatial.
– Lung-like. Through the friction between transparency/opacity, illumination/darkness, sculpted-mark/painted-gesture, each work considers the extent to which it canoperate as lungs — as a deployment of energies pulling in or reproducing the limits of its own surroundings. This is a spatial issue, but I also believe it is a useful way of thinking about the 8 animals in the exhibition: as lung-like.
– Couplings. The exhibition’sorganizing system is couplings. There are lateral couples (as we are accustom to), but there are also internal couplings. **See couples listed below.
– Handthought. Themarks of the work are flat, gridded, textual, diaphanous, matte, judicial, extruded, layered, and handmade. The latter is noteworthy only because it underscores that there is growth occurring with the works because hands are also thinking and learning devices.
– Roundness put against sequence. When handwriting and other text appears within the sculptural work, the contrast between text and form is used to gath er information on what it means to be a spatial figure; the suggestion with this is that good particulate can be extracted when theroundness of sculpture is put in tension with the sequentiality of language / writing.
– Figures. To construct the work, I am thinking about figures; and I continue to choose this term to reference the work because it encompasses the formalities of the figure, but also the figure’s inscription by its context, including the language, laws, and politics afforded by that context.
– Animation in sculpture. The 8 animals in the exhibit are also questioning sculpture’s status as a motionless dispatcher of ideas and chasing the importance (or unimportance) of animation within sculpture.
– Space. When the exhibition is approached, it can be looked at as a continuation of an idea that I have been working on for a long time: that sculpture’scategorical imperative might be to teach us about space, and why space is important.
At Bridget Donahue, New York
until 26 January 2020