At the FIU Project Room
Bakehouse Art Complex, 2015
Curated by Brittni Winkler
For this exhibition Sterling Rook, Javier Cuarezma and Michael Gray put together a body of work that filled the Project Room with art that relate to, or were made by machines. Michael Gray’s piece titled “Meet Your Maker” was made by firing bullets at a painted canvas and lit from behind to simulate an image of the cosmos. The idea behind this piece suggested that human violence could be a symptom of the violent nature of the cosmos. At the same time the work seems warm and inviting and simulates the mystery and spectacle of looking at the stars. On the wall opposite of this piece, Gray has another display of 6 black and white papers fired at by shotgun shells that have been repacked with classical drawing materials including charcoal and marble powder. Lastly, Gray made collages of historical wartime images on the screens of found televisions. Each television reflected the war of its respective time period and were titled “War Machines”. The collages on the televisions revealed the machines of war however the televisions themselves could be seen as machines that were used to promote propaganda and pro war imagery by the government they were a part of.
Sterling Rook, after meeting with Gray decided to make explosion paintings to fulfill his portion of the exhibition. Rook took common household construction items like plywood, sheet metal, roofing paper and concrete tiles as his canvases. Rook then made simple home made explosives surrounded by house paint and detonated them onto the canvases. The results were swirling cosmic paintings that referenced modern violence, terrorism and the cosmos. Leftover pieces of concrete that had been shattered by the blasts were set up as a section of a city block in ruins in the center of the room.
Javier Cuarezma took over the back room of the space and created an installation piece that used thread, nails and sewn canvases. The thread came from each canvas, was attached to the walls with nails and looked like trajectory paths of either bullets or of missiles. The graphic lines of the thread jumped off of the canvases and encircled the viewer. The lines of red thread gave the feeling of a type of laser security that the viewer must navigate to get a closer look at the work.
Images courtesy of Art is About