SEPTEMBER 1 - 30, 2017
Opening Reception Thurs. Sept. 7, 6-9pm
Percy Shelley's 1818 sonnet "Ozymandias" may be scanned either over the top or through various breaks in Sally Stein's childlike installation and forms both the backdrop and subtext for the work’s meaning. Written about a statue of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II, the poem is about hubris, how the legacy of a tyrant or despot disintegrates in history. Continuing the tradition of artists using toys for political and psychological impact (Kelley, Cattelan, McCarthy) Stein’s lego wall, both literal and metaphorical, blocks the entrance to the gallery and does not invite us in. So the wall isthe exhibit, and it proposes that we think generally and specifically about walls: how they discourage entrance and exit, how they exclude outsiders and imprison insiders, in this case into the phantasmatic monocultural purity of Donald Trump’s scheme.
This wall is also reminiscent of other famous political partitions, such as the walls in Berlin, and in Jerusalem. Its parapets, protrusions and “bricks” on the ground might refer to either the process of building or the process of demolition, leading us to search where and through what fissures we might insert our agency and our opposition.