Rey Akdogan

Crash Rail

May 13 — June 28, 2015

Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Wednesday, May 13th, of Crash Rail, Rey Akdogan’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The show will be on view at both 88 Eldridge and 36 Orchard Street. The opening reception will take place on Friday, May 15th, from 2 to 8PM.

These are horizontal lines that are parallel to the ground, closer to the floor than the ceiling, coated with layers of colors, lines, or bands. The colors have names: HSS 500, RAL 3020, RAL 7021, RAL 9005, RAL 5012… As objects they are anonymous, yet familiar. More at home in high traffic places than isolated corners, they are the mark of spaces where circulation and passage rather than dwelling reign. They are the types of objects that more often attract a distracted hand, ass, or knee than they do the eye. Their function is to safeguard their support—the wall—and to preserve its surface by repelling marks and unwanted traces.

Crash rails are standard background elements, extras of our contemporary environmental apparatus: everywhere and unnoticed. Their varying physical appearances are largely determined by the operational abstraction that holds together the construction of ambiance—industrial standards, section profiles, color codes, hanging heights, polymer densities. They contribute to a specific atmosphere in environments whose aesthetic character is largely unintentional. Here they are used against themselves. The intended function of the crash rails both determines and is in tension with their aesthetic appearance. Displaced to the gallery space, they are seemingly divested of their use value and instead accentuate the angles, alignments, planes and patterns of the space of display. Their protective capacity becomes superfluous. Set low on the wall, they lower the gaze, establishing a wide field of vision. Just as the low horizons of Dutch seascapes draw attention to the sky, these base lines paradoxically draw attention to the expanse of the walls and the room, essential supports for the exhibition and circulation of value.

PVC strip curtains, lighting gels, and the patterns on plastic packaging are also standard background elements. The rails operate at one end of the spectrum, the space of far-seeing, a temporary horizon marked across a sequence of rooms. The projected slide works, for their part, are conceived at the other end, a space measured in millimeters. Close examination invites deceleration. A micrography of everyday surfaces appears in sharp relief: the overlay of dots, the stretching of plastic, pattern and the folding of pattern. The gaze is not lowered but extended, immersed in a different kind of horizon and a different kind of horizontality: the materiality of the technical image, a universe that knows only dots, lines, dashes, dust and dither.