A Perpetual Slow Circle
January 1 – March 1, 2015
Opening December 31, 2014, 6-9pm
Sun Valley, ID
By appointment only, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (208) 726-8746 for more information.
Ochi Gallery is pleased to present “A Perpetual Slow Circle,” a survey of Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant’s “nimbus” series made from 2004 to 2014. Grant’s “nimbus” works—which vary from kinetic wire sculptures to wallpaper, etchings to paintings—began with the display of her first nimbus sculptures at 16:1 Gallery and Machine Project in Los Angeles in 2004. Inspired by a short text written by the hypertext fiction pioneer Michael Joyce, the form in this series mimics nimbus clouds or whispers made out of silver wire filigree. The second iteration of the sculpture, which forms the center point of the Ochi Gallery show, “nimbus II,” was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles in 2007 and the Contemporary Museum Baltimore in 2008 alongside Grant’s “Wallpaper (la escalera al cielo).” “A Perpetual Slow Circle” gathers “nimbus” works together for the first time as a complete body of work, including many that have not been shown before.
In “nimbus II,” each word of Joyce’s text is woven in silver wire, with a bubble around the word suggesting that language is by nature viral. Sentences, as strands of filigree, are then assembled into a larger cloud form. A bright light projects the shadow of the sculpture on the wall or floor, depending on the installation. In the “whisper” works and “susurro II” (whisper in Spanish) Grant has taken the wire strands of language and run them through a printing press, embossing them into the delicate, metallic paper. “Wallpaper (la escalera al cielo)” is a different kind of printing process — as the interconnected strands of words are digitally scanned and printed onto a wallpaper with a pattern that doesn’t repeat, suggesting an infinite landscape of language.
Other works on paper and canvas are translations of Joyce’s “Nimbus” text into drawing, using pencil and eraser to mimic a web of language. Grant’s short film “MOTION” traces the evolution of the work from Joyce’s original hand-woven text into drawing, sculpture, and finally the kinetic movement of “nimbus II” at it spins and casts its shadow.
Grant’s neon sculpture, “¿dónde está la escalera al cielo?” is a phrase that was transmitted into various of the “nimbus” works from another collaboration with Joyce, the “Ladder Quartet.” Phrases from the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Wislawa Szymborska are also absorbed into many of the “nimbus” drawings and the wallpaper work — showing how by nature language both proliferates and is absorbed, is at once viral and parasitic.
Images: Top: nimbus II, (after Michael Joyce’s “Nimbus,” 2003), 2007, wire, motor, light, 75″ x 75″ x 75″
Above: Untitled (whisper) 1-3, 2008, embossed Japanese painted paper and thread, 32″ in x 22″