Alexa Horochowski: Club Disminución
The Soap Factory, September 6 – November 9, 2014
The exhibition Club Disminución (“Club of Diminishing Returns”) was instigated by Alexa Horochowski’s artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, 2012/2013. Designed by architects Maurizio Peso and Sofia Erlichshausen, Casa Poli, a minimalist, cement cube, functions as a cultural art center/artist studio. Built on a jagged cliff overlooking the Pacific, 30 miles from Chile’s second largest city, Concepción, Casa Poli appears perched at the end of the world. It offers views of the ocean from three of the cardinal points (South, West, and North), and directly below Casa Poli, the surf pounds into a narrow cave. The separation between landscape and architecture is indistinct.
In her pursuit of the physicality of form Alexa Horochowski uses a wide range of elemental media to render sculptures that defy their native qualities. Hard becomes soft, soft becomes hard, gestures are frozen. Natural objects, flotsam, and ‘naturalized’ garbage, combined with studio-generated objects, suggest a post-human natural history of the future. Sculpture, video, and large-scale digital prints work together to depict the struggle between the human drive to create lasting symbols of culture, and Nature’s indifferent, persistent erasure of these symbols.
The landscape is distilled into distinctive objects that are charged with elements of the alien or unknown. Horochowski molds cochayuyo (Durivillaea antartica, kelp that grows on the shores of Chile and New Zealand) into cuboidal forms that merge the mechanical with the organic/living. Sponges are translated into bronze so that they resemble pumice, and natural materials take on the qualities of man-made objects. The work explores entropy and the passing of time by imitating the natural processes of accretion and aggregation found in caves or the persistent impression left by fauna and water on architecture and the landscape. A fossil of a credit card heralds a post-consumer future, beyond the Era of the Anthropocene.
Mundane Train, an installation by Alexa Horochowski
May 16 – June 8, 2014
Materials associated with modern infrastructure – railroad ties, cinder blocks, safety cones – are presented in unexpected and dynamic relation to one another. In a nod to high culture, each sculpture offers a formal experience of materiality – featuring texture, balance, and unity – while remaining grounded in the mundane. The anachronistic industrial process of iron casting (used to produce Cooler, Pallet, and Safety Cone) foregrounds the discardable objects that litter the human landscape by transforming them into ossified facsímile of the original. In their relative permanence these figures assume the role of unglorious monuments – heralds of a post-consumer future, beyond the Era of the Anthropocene.
Durvilaea Antartica hung from a window during my artist residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, 2012
Installation exhibited at Burnet Gallery, Minneapolis, 2011. Manufactured minimalist forms, photographs, modeled wax, and cast metal sculptures function as props that lend the exhibition space qualities of the natural world. Polished steel functions as a stand-in for reflective water and sky. A black and white photograph of tree bark emphasizes the subject’s map-like structure; delicate metal rods chart a crystalline structure.
Oligarchy was built out of wood, cloth and wax and cast in bronze to resemble a hybrid fallen chandelier/stalactite. The transformation of the rivulets of wax into bronze are similar to formations found in caves.
Rock is built out of steel rod and mirrored steel producing a structure whose reflections and shadows have more impact than overall mass.
The Christening of H.M.S. Speedwell took place at Silver Lake with the assistance of the Sea Clamp.
Fata Morgana is an Italian phrase signifying a complex, rapidly changing mirage that can occur on land or sea often distorting dramatically the object one sees. To make this sculpture I dripped wax over a common model ship. I wanted the ship to look encrusted, as if it sunk to the bottom of the sea where over time it was covered in barnacles. Its surface references the passage of time and gives it a melting, surreal quality. The ship is cast out of bronze and weighs about 123 lbs. It is kept afloat by a submerged buoy. The buoy allows the ship to rise up and down as water from the lake evaporates or increases with rainfall.
Silver Lake at Silverwood Park, Minnesota, Summer 2012 and 2013
Installation using 600 dowels at Art of This, Minneapolis.