Wallspace is pleased to present The Cybernetic Fold, Harry Dodge’s second solo show at the gallery. The works in this show, which include sculpture, drawings, and video, are ecstatic, dogged reckonings with intellectual preoccupations channeled through the artist’s body— which might here be conceived as a kind of organic filter for insuperable questions wrought by study. Is the pith of our relation material? How does a die-hard materialist conceptualize, or instantiate, the nature of our relations in a digital age? How might a technophobe—or at least someone who feels acutely the diminishments, wrought by computers, of the analog nuances of human communication—contend with cyborgian reality, or what Paul Preciado has called the ever-accelerating “pharmacopornographic era”? How might flatness—which we confront daily in the form of monitors and smart phones, etc.—be reconsidered? What if flatness didn’t lack? What makes thickness; what makes dimension? What is the thickness of our relation to each other? How does a single bend make volume? If Rosi Braidotti is right, that “The inhuman is not what it used to be,” what is it now, and what are we? What might Georges Bataille’s idea of man as “a particle inserted into unstable and tangled ensembles” look or feel like, if materialized into shape; what if these ensembles are not only digital, but also endlessly shaped by interest, love and shame?
Dodge’s interrogation has him turning everyday objects inside-out (“Love Fuzz/ Many Mr. Strange”), scraping idiotic koans from comment boxes in a series of three Plexiglas stencils (“The Gross Part,” “Franks and Beans,” “Rap With Meaning”), repurposing scraps (“Without the Random, There Can Be No New Thing (hey hey mama, said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove), playing the (comedic) line between the abstract and the anthropomorphic (“In This Hole /Honey Bucket”), putting his own technoskin on display (“My Glassy Essence (Shame in the Cybernetic Fold)”). The fantasia here created may glitter (as in “Fuck Me/Who’s Sorry Now”), but this is no Plato’s cave. Dodge’s work—frenetic, lewd, hallucinatory, and visceral—conjures the pulsing, multivalent bodies whose desires drive, and often collide with, machine (not to mention with each other).
Harry Dodge (b. 1966, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) has exhibited widely. Recent exhibitions and screenings include the world premiere of The Time-Eaters, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy—curated by Kelly Taxter, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2013); 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2008).
On Monday, May 18th, Harry Dodge’s 2014 video “The Time-Eaters” will make its New York premiere at Lincoln Center Film Society, as part of a screening program co-curated by Maggie Nelson in conjunction with the launch of her new book, The Argonauts.