Andrew K. Currey
December 1-31, 2013
Opening Reception: Wed. Dec.11, 6:30 – 8pm
PROXY Gallery is pleased to present the solo exhibition The Guards by artist Andrew K. Currey.
In her book On Longing, Susan Stewart describes the miniature as a device for the objectification of desire. Existing in social space, it exaggerates the divergent relation “between the abstract and the material nature of the sign.” Toy armored soldiers referring to the Middle Ages serve as “safe” signifiers for a nascent male identity, and as effective alibis for adults who would not be caught dead giving children simulacra of contemporary weapons. The armored knight has become almost exclusively a metaphor for a romantic kind of masculinity, chivalry, and bravery, severing itself from the historical knowledge that the crusades were wars waged by Catholic Europe against the pagan or heretical “east,” Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians, to restore Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem.
Currey has taken this neo-medievalist trend and cast his Guards in graphite, thus instrumentalizing the pieces both as toys and as an army. The artist is calling attention to the medium of writing and drawing, while in fact producing sculpture. The gallery box is completely lined in black, and the sculptures are placed around a hole in the bottom from which emanates a strong light. Do we have here a historical representation, or a representation of history? What is the nature of the desire these objects represent? Whose desire? The installation continuously circles from myth to its critical reframing and back to myth.