Saturday, February 20, 2021

Harry Gould Harvey IV at Bureau


Not sure what multiplier of neo-neo-gothic we're on. As early as 2001 artists already mocked the gothic vacancy with felted craft projects of black metal's "Norwegian Romanticism" or New Gothic, Southern Gothic, before the "Digital Gothic" Modern Gothic- etc. - etc. People want the Gothic. Want the look. We reclaim it like wood. The above sculptures claimed from a Gilded Age Gothic Revival mansion. Wealthy 19th century Americans who "admired the estates of the European nobility" and saw themselves as nouveau-nobility, wanted it, recreated it. Reflected and distorted enough times, the gothic becomes a signifier without origin. Which like neoclassicism whose attempt to affect stateliness becomes McMansion Hell, the gothic becomes the safety scissors of edge. The affect of brooding power. "language that was once living and ephemeral turns from undulating patterns and waves of frequency into physical declarations that simultaneously attempt to solve social ills while imposing structural violence on those who may be marginalized."

Attached to real history to add some new bells, whistles, lockets, an affect on an affect. A look. A whole history of burning architecture to be dark and look cool. anachronism, an implicit nostalgia for the past's future, rather than our own. What the Victorians had imagined as horror, pools of blood and pendulum cuts, is far more genteel than what is our current madness. This is the pleasure-saftey of genre, it has rules.

For more conceptual wood: Venice 2019, Danh Vo, & at kurimanzutto