Fragile States Opens January 8


Bryan Volta is fascinated with the plasticity of reality. His objects and images are conduits for absurd cognitive experiences that create an uncanny effect and reveal the unstated relationships individuals have with secondary bodies and objects. He makes sculptures that replicate fractions of a whole object—a chicken foot, a section of a hydraulic breaker, a human hand—using materials that assign the objects with ambiguous meaning, such as plastic, gelatin, and aluminum. Volta, a former sleep technician, distorts and pieces together unexpected objects, materials, and textures that incite visceral experiences and tease out suppressed thoughts and desires, forcing us to question pleasure and perversion. Through his disjointed and mutilated perspective, he confronts the feelings and anxieties that come with finding oneself in the disconnect between the psychological and physical world.

Jenyu Wang walks the fragile line between infatuation and obsession while exploring the limits of love, both as an action and a state of being. She singles out seemingly innocuous instances, such as a photograph of her sleeping partner or an endless video loop of a waterfall from the 1997 Wong Kar-wai film “Happy Together,” and extracts their underlying dark essence by manipulating the medium or media. The uncontrollable violence of the waterfall is encapsulated in an endless loop through Wang’s video installation, while the enlarged image of her sleeping partner is entirely methodically punctured alluding to the obsessive, and even voyeuristic, nature of love. Exposing our inner impulses, Wang pairs sculptural objects with photography and video to frame a relational experience that interrogates perception, intuition, and the space in between thinking and feeling.

There are experiences that are difficult or impossible to make sense of objectively. At times we accept never fully comprehending those things we cannot explain, like the imprecise tools used to navigate the world or our convoluted relationship with objects or the violence of love. Kate Conlon, Bryan Volta, and Jenyu Wang amplify their subjective perspective in order to place new meaning onto familiar and foreign objects and concepts found in daily life. Their reinterpretation begins with the body, questioning the ways we each perceive, react, and relate through our own cognition. This investigation forms an opening in which we can acknowledge our desires, whether we reject or embrace them, and build our own idiosyncratic narratives.