Raha Raissnia

Sequence 8: one work, one or two weeks

February 10 — May 7, 2022
36 Orchard Street

Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce Sequence 8: one work, one or two weeks, an exhibition wherein, over the course of two months, a single artwork will be on view at our 36 Orchard Street space for the duration of one or two weeks. This sequencing of objects by various artists articulated over time constitutes a break from the traditional group show in which works are relationally installed in space rather than time.

This iteration of the show will begin with a painting by Alex Carver; it was followed by a work by Florian Pumhösl, sculptures by Rochelle Goldberg, and now drawings by Raha Raissnia. The next artist’s work will be announced on the day preceding its unveiling.

 

4. RAHA RAISSNIA
April 27 – May 14

“All the drawings in this multipart work are derived and informed by a set of 35mm slides I selected from an archive of hundreds of images I’ve made over the years. These particular slides are not part of any film works. They are produced through careful cutting, layering and painting of pieces of 35mm film that were shot with a still film camera, combined with found footage and painted clear leader that are set in glass slide mounts. Before executing the drawings, I scanned the slides and worked on them in Photoshop, and then printed them using a black and white laser printer. Once printed, I cut up parts, rearranged and altered them further. I then transferred the resulting images onto paper using a gel medium. I then sanded out, erased, and drew into them with ink, color pencil, charcoal, and gel medium for texture. The final work on paper is a translation or an interpretation of the film image into what can be called a drawing.

Alluvius alludes to patterns of soil formed and deposited by the flow of a stream. The title functions as a kind of metaphor for this process of translation between film and drawing – a kind of residue taking shape through the flow of energy or activity.”

– Raha Raissnia

 

3. ROCHELLE GOLDBERG
April 6 – 23

Goldberg’s Intralocutor series alludes to the figure of Mary of Egypt evoking self-preservation as brutality, the patron saint of flesh, specifically carnal flesh and its abandonment. She leaves a legacy misunderstood as a mutual rejection between her corporeal-self and the world, rather than her own decisive action. Through her desert entry, she escapes the material world that she no longer needs to ‘know.’ Her forlorn figure has become an emblem for the possibility to choose both love and peace and the further possibility to both choose and reject the world in which we live. Over time her weathered flesh dissolves into her environment, the desert, which in turn becomes her flesh – a hybrid surface that conveys the accumulation of contact a body endures through time.

As the Intralocutor wears herself, her world and everything she touches – thousands of years of material refinement in the lost-wax-bronze casting process – are pressed against how our ideas of skin, surface, protection, survival, body, gender, and life have changed and will continue to change.

Pulled from the Earth, where horizontal flows to a vertical, resurrection signaling the return to say “hello,” “hello I am here,” “hello she will be here,” “hello they have always been here.”

The mirror, the threshold, the veil…We crossed with a guide. The Intralocutor hovers on either side as witness to either way. The Intralocutor inhabits the border as a meltdown, cohabiting between the layers, where the mirror as we know it is liquid and viral. They can offer us the reflection of reflection, an absent reflection that allows us to see more than we are, and more than we are willing to admit. Structured by a system of layers or strata, they make space for a dialogue to take place both within and between. Key to their influence is the interiority that forever pushes out.

 

2. FLORIAN PUMHÖSL, Warped Relief (Lasurrot/Mittel)
March 10 – April 2

This new large-scale, folded metal sheet relief is an advancement of Florian Pumhösl’s work with this material. He furthers his interest in abstract structures, which now bring to mind containers, or lines of demarcation, rather than graphic composition. This aesthetic vocabulary marks a formal engagement with the nature of boundaries through the core interaction of the line and the basin.

 

1. ALEX CARVER, No Altars
February 10 – March 5

Painting as a primitive form of cultural technology is abundant with all too exploited analogies for the body and its viscera. Often, invoking such a metaphor, contemporary painting is alluded to through anthropomorphic terms such as zombie or cadaver, which may adequately describe the suspension of the medium, situating it between autopsy and undead animism.

In No Altars, a 28,000-year-old steppe bison, a male couple from Pompeii embracing and cast in volcanic ash along with a local horse join a dog and cat from the 16th century. The latter were intentionally mummified and used in folk magic tradition – sealed into the cavities of buildings to ward off evil spirits. Preserved in magnificent and uncanny detail these bodies have been radically transformed by their respective and unique forms of embalming through both natural and human processes. Alex Carver mutates these exquisite corpses again with low relief outlines that are frottaged to canvas with oil paint. The bodies appear in the painterly vortex of No Altars as if fused into the techno-futuristic architectural space of a large CT scanner circular casing. The painting itself becomes a kind of vision machine – not unlike a biomedical tool – a device to penetrate the abstracted bodies suspended in its woven membrane.

No Altars insists on the contemporariness of its figures and their animism. These cadavers are already zombies clawing into the discourse of painting. In more general terms, Carver’s recent works overlay different forms of image production, each of which seems to oscillate, phasing and emerging in the direction of the eye and generating the sensation of one realm of information becoming visible only by way of another. The depicted bog bodies are mummified, high resolution images that the earth itself has produced. Paradoxically, they are preserved in a state of decay, resisting fixity, diagrammatical interpretation and binary distinction.

Recurrent images of plant material take on a special relevance in these paintings, as advanced biomedical grafting techniques now involve the use of plant fibers as the skeletal structure for transplanting and growing new tissue, transfusing natural and technological processes. Through his own layering of machine-stenciled screens, frottage and brushwork, and the combining of scientific precision with the fantastical, Carver’s paintings develop an elusive world of imagery in which dense layers are splintered with negative images, like a vectorized labyrinth, set against a sweeping gesso ground that gathers and binds together the painting’s diverse materials.