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.