Set against the backdrop of Times Square’s towering video screens, Ivana Bašić‘s embryonic alien sculptures, fleshy pink humanoid creatures guarded by metallic shells, felt as if from a scene from Bladerunner. Stray, a group show curated by Tiffany Zabludowicz, on the 14th floor of an office building at W 43rd Street and Broadway, quite literally offers a unique perspective. Two-hundred feet in the air, the view of moving bodies and looping ads underscores the show’s themes of surveillance culture, consumerism, hypertemporality, and biosystems provoked by artists, Kelly Akashi, Bašić, Hayden Dunham, Marguerite Humeau, and Pamela Rosenkranz.
From Bašić’s blushing alien fetuses and rosy marble rocks (in metal vices gradually being pounded to dust) to Humeau’s translucent screen with a swirling salmon print (flanked by barbed totems of the same complexion), throughout the show, pink, oft-maligned as a frivolous girlish hue, is recast with sinister sci-fi significance. The pattern on Humeau’s screen is one the military uses to camouflage drones while the prevalence of “flesh-colored” hues in many of the works refers to another kind of violence, the flattening of human representation under white supremacy and the commodification of these biases from bandaids to concealers. Another gesture toward our ideas of healthy bodies and polluting entities: Dunham’s sculptures stage tableaux of discarded industrial guts sitting inert in puddles of medical silicone.
A nefarious future has already arrived. There’s an optimism, though, in the mutability of materials throughout the show. Akashi’s small fantastic sculptures in wax and glass especially are a quiet endorsement of imagining changeability. Nothing is forever, not even stone.
Now until January 30, Fridays and Saturdays 12pm to 7pm and by appointment.
1500 Broadway, (entrance on 43rd Street),
Times Square, NY 10036
Photos courtesy of Kyle Knodell.