Reclaimed Empire/The Unseen Obelisk† by Adam Putnam
March 3rd - May 10th, 2018
“…spaces once constructed for performance, have now been evacuated and have taken on a presence all their own. Architectural interiors become stand-ins for a metaphorical interiority once represented by my body. In the years since, my work has maintained a consistent flux between presence and absence. Brick architecture, arcades, magic lanterns all point towards the construction of spaces both real and imagined, remembered and desired. As stand-in’s for the body, the experience of “entering” into them can become psychologically charged; ominous and inviting at the same time. Reclaimed Empire (Deep Edit) 2008-2017 is an ongoing series comprised of over 80 fragments and short video works. The original title, ‘reclaimed empire,' initially an overt nod to Warhol’s ‘Empire,' speaks less about homage, and more to the notion of a constant return to repeated subject matter - a gaze that never leaves, that stares un-blinkingly – mechanically - at the same subject. This was my Empire, comprised of whatever was on hand in the studio, sculptural fragments, broken mirrors, architectural models and other detritus. Employing this short form or fragment rather than a longer narrative has allowed for a more intuitive way of working, closer to a photographic process. In this way, imagery that would otherwise lay dormant erupts in unexpected ways…”
† The title is a direct reference from an essay The Obelisk by Hakim Bey. This essay was originally the inspiration for a work installed at GAR in 2015 where an actual concrete obelisk was poured and buried in the GAR courtyard. This obelisk has been slowly re-emerging – a process known as “concretion” in geological terms.
The GAR Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Reclaimed Empire/The Unseen Obelisk” by Adam Putnam on Saturday, March 3rd from 6-9pm. The exhibition will feature a series of short films, titled Reclaimed Empire (Deep Edit) that Putnam has been working on for the past ten years. Also on view will be a site-specific installation created specifically for the GAR gallery. While the films and sculptural installation exist as discrete works, the one constantly references the other. “Reclaimed Empire/The Unseen Obelisk” will be on view through May 12th, 2018.