April 2, 2021 - SculptureCenter - Rindon Johnson: Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies / In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back
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April 2, 2021

SculptureCenter

View of Rindon Johnson: Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies, SculptureCenter, New York, 2021. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

Rindon Johnson, For example, collect the water just to see it pool there above your head. Don’t be a Fucking Hero!, 2021–ongoing. Rawhide, paracord, rainwater. Courtesy the artist and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

View of In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back, SculptureCenter, New York, 2021. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

View of In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back, SculptureCenter, New York, 2021. Photo: Kyle Knodell.

Rindon Johnson: Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies
In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back
March 25–August 2, 2021

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Rindon Johnson: Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies
Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies, Rindon Johnson’s first solo museum exhibition, includes newly commissioned work installed throughout SculptureCenter’s ground floor galleries, lobby, and outdoor courtyard spaces. The New York presentation will be followed by a companion exhibition—Law of Large Numbers: Our Selves—with overlapping, reconfigured, and additional works at Chisenhale Gallery, London, this autumn. A new publication with original writings by the artist, published by SculptureCenter, Chisenhale Gallery, and Inpatient Press, accompanies both exhibitions.

As a multidisciplinary artist as well as a writer and poet, Johnson’s practice expands outward from its roots in language. Sculptures, paintings, videos, installations, and VR grow out of his entanglement with words and how they make and unmake our versions of reality. His work shows how supposed virtual and actual realities are integrated, and how art has historically been instrumental in sustaining simultaneous other realities.

Central to the exhibition is Coeval Proposition #1: Tear down so as to make flat with the Ground or The *Trans America Building DISMANTLE EVERYTHING, a large-scale sculpture that references the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco. Though it is now one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, when it was completed in 1972 it was received with skepticism and called “the most portentously and insidiously bad building in The City.”[1] Despite its initial reception, the Pyramid is now considered an integral part of the city’s skyline. As a native of the Bay Area, Johnson uses the building to address questions of identity and belonging—starting with where one comes from, but also accounting for one’s ongoing process of identification and disidentification, and the struggle for recognition or obscurity. The Transamerica Pyramid’s iconic construction—concrete, steel, glass, and crushed white quartz—will be remade in reclaimed redwood and ebonized, or darkened. As Johnson writes, this effort allows him to “more readily see myself reflected in the building which by name and location reflects my trans identity back to me (we share a name)—my skin is brown, almost nearly black in certain light.”

Coeval Proposition #2: Last Year’s Atlantic, or You look really good, you look like you pretended like nothing ever happened, or a Weakening, another major commission, is a live rendering of ocean weather data collected from March 2020 to January 2021. On any given day over the course of the New York and London exhibitions, the work will generate second-for-second figurative visualizations of weather data gathered on the same day in the previous year. Folding in a climate system that hatches the conditions in which the exhibition takes place, the work creates a yearlong portrait of last year’s Atlantic, centered on the vast North Atlantic “cold blob,” located at the approximate geographical midpoint between SculptureCenter and Chisenhale Gallery. The site is an anomalous rapidly-cooling section of the Gulf Stream’s warm ocean current. Believed to be brought on by global warming, the “cold blob” interferes with and continually weakens the system’s movement and its regulation of oceanic and land temperatures.

Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies is curated by Sohrab Mohebbi, Curator-at-Large.

[1] Larry D. Hatfield, “Transamerica Pyramid a controversial building,” San Francisco Examiner, February 18, 1999. 

Related programming
Rindon Johnson Group Crit I
Thursday, April 29, 2021, 6pm

Rindon Johnson Group Crit II
Thursday, June 24, 2021, 6pm


In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back
In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back investigates the notion of non-resolution through the lens of loss, grief, and mortality. In both psychology and art, “processing” and “process” suggest an arrival at a final, settled—if uncomposed—state. By contrast, the artists in the exhibition treat process as a metaphysical cycle of return, producing works as detritus, residue, or ideas to be revisited and revised. The exhibition asks: How can we navigate the unending notion of process and procession through a softer lens? What would it look like for us to move not toward resolution but toward a constant, comfortably unresolved state? What if there is no such thing as closure?

The works in the exhibition engage with these questions, giving way to a discourse with both physical and affective dimensions. The artists create subtle eulogies within architectural sites that are conspicuously void of human actors; they congregate objects that suggest loss yet anticipate their next use, using audio to disperse presence into an impermanent, atmospheric space. Other works address complex issues of food insecurity, investigate therapeutic theater with strangers, and engage in conversations about necropolitics and healing. They take the forms of aching, faltering foundations; mine familial affection and disconnection; and enact material and emotional subsidence, sinking or settling into open-ended or precarious states. The exhibition expands on the idea that the clarity that is sought, whether through external expression like artmaking or through interior work, becomes a pitfall of unanswered questions and programmed coping mechanisms.

In Practice: You may go, but this will bring you back features newly commissioned sculpture, audio works, and video installations by eleven artists: Carlos Agredano, Leslie Cuyjet, Kyrae Dawaun, Dominique Duroseau, Hugh Hayden, Sunny Leerasanthanah, Abigail Lucien, André Magaña, Catalina Ouyang, Chiffon Thomas, and Quay Quinn Wolf. The exhibition is organized by 2021 In Practice Curatorial Fellow Katherine Simóne Reynolds, who holds a curatorial position at the Luminary in St. Louis and is an artist; her work was included in In Practice: Other Objects at SculptureCenter in 2019.

Related programming
Care in a time of its rationing
Thursday, May 27, 2021, 6pm

About SculptureCenter
Rindon Johnson’s Coeval Proposition #1: Tear down so as to make flat with the Ground or The *Trans America Building DISMANTLE EVERYTHING is made possible by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter (VNXXSC).

Support for Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies is provided by the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation and the Harpo Foundation. Support for Rindon Johnson's The Law of Large Numbers publication is provided by François Ghebaly, Los Angeles.

Law of Large Numbers: Our Bodies and Law of Large Numbers: Our Selves are commissioned and produced by SculptureCenter, New York and Chisenhale Gallery, London.

The In Practice program is made possible by the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

Leadership support of SculptureCenter’s exhibitions and programs is provided by Carol Bove, Jill and Peter Kraus, Lee Elliott and Robert K. Elliott, Eleanor Heyman Propp, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, and Robert Soros and Jamie Singer.

For more information, please visit www.sculpture-center.org.

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