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16 JULY – 9 AUGUST, 2015

Pressure vessels are known for their ability to contain, accumulate, store and distribute a given substance. This substance, isolated from its surroundings, is a concentrate, manufactured for use at another time or place in order to do work.

The paintings and sculptures in this exhibition are extensions and/or abstractions of mechanical narratives which are loosely derived from the form and function of pressure vessels.

The title of the show, STRANDING RESERVE, is a play on German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s use of the Phrase “Standing Reserve.”

In his essay The Question Concerning Technology, Heidegger explores the differences and dangers between old and new technologies. Heidegger essentially argues that the essence of technology is to reveal or un-conceal and his use of the phrase Standing Reserve describes a state of modern technology in which this revealing or un-concealing is filtered and limited through the scheme of challenging, in order to yield a kind of readiness.

Standing reserve comes about by the activity of challenging… forcing what is set upon to be prepared, so that its “unnecessary” parts or functions become unseen, what is revealed is stranded in the realm of efficiency

“The revealing that rules in modern technology is a challenging… which puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy that can be extracted and stored as such.

“The name ‘standing-reserve’ assumes the rank of an inclusive rubric. Whatever stands by in the sense of standing-reserve no longer stands over against us as object… Yet an airliner that stands on the runway is surely an object. Certainly. We can represent the machine so. But then it conceals itself as to what and how it is. Revealed, it stands on the taxi strip only as standing-reserve, inasmuch as it is ordered to ensure the possibility of transportation. For this it must be in its whole structure and in every one of its constituent parts, on call for duty, i.e., ready for takeoff”. [1]

Formally drawing on synthetic/ analytic cubism, futurism, Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, Suprematism, Neo-Geo, and computer collage, the works explore containment, storage, flow and measurement of concentrated substances.

Pressure vessels embody this notion of standing reserve quite well as they filter their source of power, conceal their contents from onlookers, only to be revealed, as:

  1. Being ready as potential energy (when not actively functioning).
  2. Distributing energy in a controlled fashion (when functioning)
  3. Being ‘empty’
  4. Exploding imploding leaking, making strange noises and smells (when breaking down)

 

[1] Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, p. 6