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Gabriela Salazar: My Lands are Islands

January 9 February 6, 2015

NURTUREart presented Gabriela Salazar’s solo exhibition My Lands are Islands. In this project Salazar uses the form of a simple machine (the wedge/shim) to perform its usefulness through allegorical “work”. The wedges were made of a rudimentary clay of coffee grounds, an ingredient that comes out of the artist’s family’s history as part of Puerto Rico’s coffee trade.

These small serial works were exhibited on pedestals made of white glazed brick reminiscent of the material used in condominium construction in NYC during the 1950’s and 60’s. These “pedestals”, while referring to urban architecture, also played with the forms of minimalist sculpture, in essence opening up an intersection between their simplicity as Ur-Object and the heterogeneity of the social/cultural city.

My Lands are Islands is a meditation on histories consisting of conflated temporalities, dealing with issues of colonialism, modernism, minimalism, urbanism and feminism drawn from the artists’ personal history. The coffee-clay is unstable at Salazar’s chosen scale, hence the wedge sculptures will collapse and deteriorate over the run of the exhibition. The wedges perform this collapse at a peculiarly stubborn rate; too slow to watch but frustrating to any sense of the permanent or archival. This cycle of binding and breaking apart is an interesting foil to the temporalities of both the ever-changing city and the timelessness central to Minimalism’s grand narrative.

My Lands are Islands was organized and curated by Marco Antonini. An accompanying eBook features a text by Colby Chamberlain, installation shots of the exhibition and close ups of the works.

See photos from the opening reception and installation HERE.

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