The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley

The curators of Ecstasy, Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith, characterize their show as an “exhibition and lab” (the latter aspect of which may be more prominent in a couple of the objects by Candice Lin included here); but its installation has the airy feel of a frame or skeleton – an open vessel for the viewer’s imagination. Their stated intention was to conflate the Shelley moment of terror that inspired her classic horror novel, Frankenstein, with the ‘ecstasy’ of Saint Teresa, but the inspiration is really the same: the Promethean fire urging humanity ever more ambitiously forward towards unlocking the secrets of the universe (or the gods), yet simultaneously unleashing the staggering hubris with which we desecrate that same universe. Nathan Danilowicz’s Volans Anguli, with its brutalist black beams fashioned into flying buttresses angled into the wall, or broken and criss-crossing each other, evoke both broken ‘skeleton’ and broken flight or ambition, even the civilization’s self-cannibalization. Annie Lapin’s paintings, hung mid-gallery as if they were doors (which in a sense they are) simultaneously evoke opacity amid transparency, a chthonic universe, and an ethereal bioplasm in constant flux. Naotaka Hiro has compressed what might be characterized as a similar birth process into a ziggurat of sausage (or shit) – rendered here as both video performance and sculpture. Works by Gala Porras-Kim, Valerie Hegarty, and video/performance artist, Cassils, and Candice Lin are no less striking. ‘Science project’ aspects aside, Lin projects in her five works here a ‘creatures of Prometheus’ vision – the notion of a pathway out of the gloom and chill that envelop us in civilization’s twilight.

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)
6522 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Show runs thru February 12, 2017