David Castillo Gallery is proud to present Here, Place the Lever, Adler Guerrier’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Guerrier continues his investigation of urban landscape as performative people’s history in new photographs and drawings. Although sourced from Miami-Dade county, Here, Place the Lever is an open invitation to site non-specificity. Like Brian Massumi’s affective fact, Guerrier philosophizes a broader condition to which empirical fact only aspires. Guerrier reminds the viewer that the difference between wilderness and lawn rests only in the tedious construction of privacy, the indeterminacy between natural aerosol and digital storage device resolved by sociopolitical exposure to the delicate concept of cloud.
Merleau-Ponty identifies reversibility between phenomena such as seeing and being seen, or touching and being touched, that yields an experiential byproduct greater than that which one-dimensional exchange could allow. Here, Place the Lever is reversible language that beckons the viewer outside the comfort of personal space toward loaded contingency. The title is an invitation– an order– a dare. It is a gesture of support and a threat of instability, an adventure and a liability. It is public and private. It is the intimacy of presence and the abstraction of potential.
Here, Place the Lever is the abject, conceptualizing a difficult commons between subject and object populated by semiocapital, networked identity, digital culture and other symptoms of modernity. Guerrier’s commons is home to anxiety and contradiction as the flaneurial perspective that renders his artworks is both oversaturated and solitary. Guerrier does not photograph vernal grass without a glimpse of black water. His drawings do not reference the layered detritus of municipal walls, bus stops or billboards without the cultural weight that informs their production and perception. Guerrier pushes glimpses of urban landscape into a hypertrophic state beyond studio art practice. Indeed, his artworks are counter-protological, subverting aesthetics toward a socio-politics of the spatial commons referenced by their imagery. They are at once lyrically seductive and acutely cautionary against the entomology of "decadence," from the Latin cadere.
Here, Place the Lever is perhaps a subtle plea toward the empathy among bodies strategized by Italian Autonomist Franco "Bifo" Berardi and media theorist Geert Lovink as an antidote to contemporary estrangement and self-interest. "Media virtualization has destroyed the pleasure of touching each other and the pleasure of living in urban spaces," Bifo and Lovink write. With a lever of correct proportions, Archimedes claimed that he could lift the Earth. Wandering Guerrier’s urban landscapes, one cannot help but ponder whether ascendency lies in the lapsed human spirit, the insistence upon green in concrete.
Adler Guerrier was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and lives and works in Miami. He studied at the New World School of the Arts in Miami and has exhibited widely including The Whitney Biennial 2008, The Wolfsonian Miami Beach, Miami Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, and Tate Liverpool. The artist will have his first large-scale museum solo exhibition at the newly-designed Herzog & de Meuron Miami Art Museum in 2014. Guerrier’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Artnews, and Art in America, among numerous other publications. He was recently included in the exhibition Vanishing Points: Paint and Paintings from the Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection at the Harn Musuem of Art in Gainsville, FL, which originated at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach in 2011.
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