Saturday, November 16, 2019

Materialphilia



[Previously a] press release asks, "So how can we make up for the inability to touch?"

Our modern problem, our world, mediated by screens, the totality of which becomes enshrined in gallery, or touch screen glass. Ours is a world we see but don't touch, like an art museum.


And so art becomes the world's great development project inventing all the ways to surmount glass with a materiality so strong it could visually empath itself, so that we could feel through glass.

Like porn, we want to touch, want to experience sensuality. Separated by this glass both art and porn must find ways to make physical sensation a visual code passable through glass. Pornography does this by covering the body in oil, wrapping it in latex, inflating its breasts to absurdity. Art does this with goo and viscera and softness and lumps. Hypernormal stimuli.


So we get more exhibitionist materiality. Open wardrobe to expose wood, some woodgrain to counteract the glass we see everything through. This materialist becomes conflated with the authentic, the rustic.



Attention to the brown you may have noticed in stores having enveloped our packaging to stand for its green, the ecological concern signified by "brown." And "Natural" you may also have noticed has no FDA governance and can be, without recourse, stated about things like gasoline and high-fructose corn syrup, maybe steel nails.

Natural, like nature, creates a negative distinction, we are said to go out "into nature" to pretend we are distinct from it, to pretend worlds distinct from mankind. Like the trend in homes, bars, everyone hauling reclaimed wood by the tonnage deep into the city, West Elm mass producing it, in attempt to reclaim some authentic experience separate from the glass we touch all day in pocket. 

But the glass like the gallery can bring us anything, it appears on screen, in white fields, in front of you, your touch of nature, your finger grease smeared on it.


Like cabinets of curiosities collecting various exotic tokens displayed for enlightened society's pleasure, N. Dash's material deployments like swatches of touch are the anthropological remains of our dissolving physical world, distributed like catalogs of our once sensual pleasure over digital networks, "The Kunstkammer conveyed symbolically the patron's control of the world through its indoor, microscopic reproduction" but no one is that hubristic today, these are about the loss of that, mourning it, our desire to once again touch things again.

The department store catalog of naturalism we now need as the world virtualizes under fingertips; in the future there will be booths where you will pay 25 credits to touch wood, feel dirt, see a tree, watch archival footage of rain.


"deploys her fragmented gestures in the service of a greater alchemy," chipping away at the artistic monument, further granularized to finer and finer pocks and us finally all staring at noise like a church for sensitivity training - commanded to the virtue of noticing. Like if you removed all the signs from the world asserting "scenic view ahead." As if we could consider it all so. There is no thing to see, no "main thing." Just a forest and trying see every tree for it, any sufficiently complex sidewalk is indistinguishable from art.

Stripped. But, no matter how much you want it, do not touch the art. Leaving everyone with a case of erotic sexual denial.

...

....The rotund, biomorphic. The anthropomorphic, anthropoid, and the dripping and the glistening. The meaty and the squishy, fungal. Glass etched with goo, sprayed. Wax deformed Rodins. Primordial, high definition flesh. The dirt. Psoriasic pulchritude. Your standard innuendo; vaginal negatives. The soft and photo sensitive. The band-aid awaiting its knee. Someone farts. The misshapen; hideously deformed. The institutionally nurse-like and the gore spread across asphalt. The putrescent, the rotting inside taught PVC. The colonoscopic. Our bodies inferred, touched, spread with creams oils and ointments. The sick. It was a lie to believe in machined aluminum autonomy, bodies and minds everywhere guttered. Every sculpture today inferring the body."