The Ironic Object at Redline curated by Lanny DeVuono

Gabriel Brown 9 seconds of the 30 minute performative piece Electronic Mandala (Electronic Disassemblers (part of Gabriel Brown’s performance): Mango Katz, Justin Beard, Kelly Brewer, David D’Agostino)

When I walked through the front door at Redline Denver into the Project Space to see the exhibition, “The Ironic Object,” pieces of motherboard were flying. I stood just there in the doorway and watched, entranced, until someone moved me on. And then, Brown gave his group a five minute warning that was repeated through the circle.

As happens in times like these, I was busy watching but, somehow thought to capture just these 9 seconds on video.  Quick like, the group popped up and swept up all the shards.

Nothing from this piece remains in the gallery. There’s no title nor mention. It’s as if nothing happened but, I remember everything. The sounds, the feeling of the smashing and flying debris cannot be erased. Even though the objects were not catalogued and archived for future display (or private caressing) there were witnesses. Oh, and these nine seconds of video? Possibly others are being shared on social media.

Does that matter? No, I don’t think so. Can you get to the essence of destruction with a few photos or video? The experience changes and fixes a certain way in your memory that no amount of spin can accomplish.

Similar to his other piece that does remain in the gallery, Brown deals with commodities and cleanliness on his own satirical terms. His shiny shopping cart is filled with gathered trash and his looping video of his ongoing project that while wearing a suit, sipping Starbucks, he reclaims and cleans up recyclables.

Debra Baxter, Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****), 2009; Quartz crystals, sterling silver, 7 x 6 x 2.5 in
Debra Baxter, Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf*****), 2009; Quartz crystals, sterling silver, 7 x 6 x 2.5 in

Other works in the exhibition range from Amber Cobb and Donald Fodness’ grotesquely weird (and foil to notions of beauty) to the clean cultural irony of works by Debra Baxter, Jaime Carrejo, Zach Reini, Terry Maker, Rebecca Vaughan and Daniella Pavlic.

Pavlic’s Exercises of exploitation/conquest/and identity is a re-purposed wooden gun rack holding three culturally associated objects (a sword, cricket bat and baseball bat) that while they are sometimes used for sport, like a gun, can also be turned to for bludgeoning. The gun rack and object sit on top of fake green grass with two arrows that brings up ideas of sport. I can’t help but think that similar to a wrestling matt the grass also exists as a challenge to step into the arena.

I’m pretty sure that acting as curator, DeVuono has issued a challenge as well.

The exhibition is up through October 27, 2013.

2013 RedLine | 2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver CO 80205 | tue-fri 10-5 : sat-sun 11-5 | directions

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