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The Order of Things


2013-01-01

Said to be a meditation on the shift in our relationship with the universe via cataclysmic predictions of end of it, the artworks in the show “ The Order of Things” at NURTUREart (56 Bogart St.) buzz with considerable gravitational pull. The show, organized by current Studio Museum of Harlem Curatorial Fellow Jamillah James, has a strong aesthetic lean with textures and sheen a plenty.

The space is cut through with a tone that is both reverent and ominous, and though there is much for the eye to relish, the artworks here have much conceptual heft … an installation of three plaster sculptures atop mirrors by Allyson Vieira, appear like the ruins of Greek columns. The visual continuation of these pillars, from object into reflection, ruined and imperfect, allude to Greco-Roman history, dimensional non-reality and the delusion of cultural permanence. Nearby hangs “Heap” by Ethan Greenbaum; six large vacuum-formed plastic panels that seem like cement slabs or large cuts of granite, with a luminescence that transfixes. Lisha Bai is represented with an alluring black sand and plexi-glass obelisk while nearby, a lustrous boulder of anthracite coal (“Motus Librationis” by Demetrius Oliver) sits before a video monitor that displays changing animations of the moon; reality television for the truly carbon-based.

The science-fiction feel of this successful show contributes to a reading of these material objects as less a collection from our current world, however doomed and fleeting, than an assorted sampling of the next. (through Feb 1)

—Enrico Gomez
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