This exhibition features work by artists Iván Argote, York Chang, Gala Porras-Kim, Ricardo Robinson, Marton Robinson, Allana Clarke, and Conrad Ruiz on EPOCH’s platform
EPOCH Gallery is an artist-run virtual experiment. They have presented two virtual exhibitions, ‘END DEMO’ and ‘AFTERLIFE’, which can be viewed on epoch.gallery
Turista: Christopher Columbus, Columbus Circle, New York, 2020. 3D Virtual Sculpture, Ed 1/5 + 2AP. © Iván Argote
Argote specially recreated an intervention he has made of different statues of Spanish conquerors, donning them with indigenous pre-Columbian ponchos in a defying and iconoclastic gesture. Argote has modelled the intervention in 3D, using the Columbus monument that is in the southwest corner of Central Park in New York (in a place called the Columbus Circle). The poncho displays patterns originating from the Mohawk culture.
I Am Sitting in a Feedback Loop, 2019. Interactive sound piece, on infinite loop, in perpetuity. © York Chang
In this sound work, Chang performs a repeating text that explores the psychological effects of algorithmic propaganda and visual information overload on our belief in truth and factuality. He recites and records the text between multiple analogue tape recorders, building up multiple sonic layers of the resonant frequencies of the analogue tape systems themselves and accumulating the auditory artefacts of background noises, frequencies, and recordings of voices until the text is rendered unintelligible. The work takes as its starting point a seminal 1969 sound work, I Am Sittin in a Room, by Alvin Lucier. Viewers can perform their own remix of the sound piece by activating the different speakers of an abandoned public address system.
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Fallen Monuments after Ozymandias, 2020. © Gala Porras-Kim
A repository of monuments currently taken down around the world. As they stop existing in the world, the installation continues to grow.
Horace Smith’s Ozymandias
In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:–
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.” – The City’s gone, –
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, – and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
Drawing Translations, 2018. Single-channel video; 5min 2sec. © Ricardo Rivera
On August 23, 1977, the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) sent the Voyager probe on its way to travel toward a few planets and then onward beyond the limits of interstellar space. On this satellite, NASA affixed a Golden Record; The Sound of Earth. The record was created with the assistance of Carl Sagan. The presupposition was that the Golden Record was a means of communication with the Univers – aliens.
Being bi-lingual, the Golden Record and its contents have fascinated Rivera since he was able to read about it in his second-grade class in 1978. Drawing Translations rejects the pseudo-intellectual camp in Art and moves the interpretive act of translation to the muscles, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system; to the body.
Tecnologías Deculoniales: Slot Machine, 2020. Interactive video; 1min 28sec. © Marton Robinson
Robinson conceptualized the first version of this work while at USC Roski School of Art and Design in 2018 in response to the Department of Public Safety email reports. The concept relates to the focus on identification and surveillance technologies by police organizations (racial profiling, policing of black bodies) and ideas associated with the performative aspect of black bodies. Robinson seeks to break the prevailing discourse of the other as a strange entity/identity concerning notions of profiling mask/masking and shaming.
You Belong to Nothing & Nothing Belongs to You, 2017. HD Video; 7min 30sec. © Allana Clarke
Through her visual practice, Clarke explores the binding nature of bodily signification – asking of the possibility to un-align sign from signifier. Initially, the work is an unidentifiable spherical landscape, as the video reviews our truth we recognize the image to be a microscopic view for the back of the artists head, hair shaved down to the scalp, defamiliarized but moving in and out of figuration as blood-red nails scan the surface of the skin.
Man on Fire (uprising) II, 2019. Watercolour on paper, 12 x 14 inches. © Conrad Ruiz
Man on Fire X, 2020. Watercolour on paper, 12 x 9 inches. © Conrad Ruiz
When Ruiz began the Man on Fire series, he was initially interested in the idea of communicating a climactic moment. The idea of pain and ecstasy was something he thought went hand in hand with fire and water because of their superficial, subliminal beauty and destructive powers. When viewing The Ecstacy of Saint Teresa, the masterwork sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, he was reminded of the ideas of the transformative powers of an ecstatic experience whether it is religious, sexual, or painful. This bliss became something Ruiz meditated on while rendering the flames and individuals on fire. He thought about the events that lead them to be in that situation because it’s almost never an accident. More often they are political acts of self-immolation or results of war and conflict.