Product Testing Unit

Gabriel Kuri
May 21 – July 31, 2016

Exhibition view

Product Testing Unit, 2016

Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Charted Missing Data), 2016

Stone, stainless steel table, inflated condoms

The contrasts inherent in the sculpture – between natural stone and stainless steel, movement and heft, hardness and softness – lend it an internal tension that results from the enduring and maintaining of these contrasting states.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Charted Missing Data), 2016 (left)

Stone, stainless steel table, inflated condoms

The contrasts inherent in the sculpture – between natural stone and stainless steel, movement and heft, hardness and softness – lend it an internal tension that results from the enduring and maintaining of these contrasting states.

 

Untitled (Dimensional Equivalence), 2016 (right)

Found object, mussel shells, mixed media

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Dimensional Equivalence), 2016

Found object, mussel shells, mixed media

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Dimensional Equivalence), 2016 (detail)

Found object, mussel shells, mixed media

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Charted Temperature 2, 2016 (left)

Pipes, aluminium sheet

Held on an upper horizontal section of pipe at its ends by two clamps, a twisted sheet of aluminium has been threaded through the frame. Vaguely reminiscent of Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair, the work mines the origins of modernism.

 

Charted Temperature 1, 2016 (right)

Pipes, hose

The work revolves around the notion of circulation—a theme Kuri has addressed often as metaphor for cultural, ecological or economic processes.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Charted Temperature 2, 2016

Pipes, aluminium sheet

Held on an upper horizontal section of pipe at its ends by two clamps, a twisted sheet of aluminium has been threaded through the frame. Vaguely reminiscent of Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair, the work mines the origins of modernism.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Charted Temperature 2, 2016

Pipes, aluminium sheet

Held on an upper horizontal section of pipe at its ends by two clamps, a twisted sheet of aluminium has been threaded through the frame. Vaguely reminiscent of Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair, the work mines the origins of modernism.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

From left to right:

 

Charted Temperature 2, 2016

Pipes, aluminium sheet

Held on an upper horizontal section of pipe at its ends by two clamps, a twisted sheet of aluminium has been threaded through the frame. Vaguely reminiscent of Marcel Breuer’s Wassily chair, the work mines the origins of modernism.

 

Charted Temperature 3, 2016

Buckets, nets, thread

The work draws attention to correspondences between the formal conventions of visualizing data as graphs, diagrams or pie charts and the formal language of modernist sculpture.

 

Charted Temperature 1, 2016

Pipes, hose

The work revolves around the notion of circulation—a theme Kuri has addressed often as metaphor for cultural, ecological or economic processes.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Charted Temperature 3, 2016

Buckets, nets, thread

The work draws attention to correspondences between the formal conventions of visualizing data as graphs, diagrams or pie charts and the formal language of modernist sculpture.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Balance Over Consumption), 2016

Wood, blanket, plastic tray

The work consists of an assemblage of ready-made objects piled one on top of the others in a delicate equilibrium. It brings to light a certain fleetingness of life: the superposition of used and industrial objects that forms an altar for a symbol of our consumerist and ephemeral society.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Balance Over Consumption), 2016 (detail)

Wood, blanket, plastic tray

The work consists of an assemblage of ready-made objects piled one on top of the others in a delicate equilibrium. It brings to light a certain fleetingness of life: the superposition of used and industrial objects that forms an altar for a symbol of our consumerist and ephemeral society.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Balance Over Consumption), 2016 (foreground)

Wood, blanket, plastic tray

The work consists of an assemblage of ready-made objects piled one on top of the others in a delicate equilibrium. It brings to light a certain fleetingness of life: the superposition of used and industrial objects that forms an altar for a symbol of our consumerist and ephemeral society.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

From left to right:

 

Untitled Chart (Floor 1), 2016 

Wooden wedges, plastic signs

Twenty-two wooden wedges are displayed on the floor. Organized in six rows, they are clearly identified by numbered plastic signs, similar to the ones used on crime scenes or archeological sites. Assembled in an apparent scientific order, their forms and presence are mined as indicators of their former function.

 

Untitled Chart (Floor 2), 2016

Soap, plastic signs

These discarded objects—the last remains of soaps that have lost their shape—bring to light a certain solitariness of their state.  

 

Untitled Chart (Wall 2), 2016

Walking sticks, ruler

Six walking sticks of different sizes, from the Japanese brand Daiso, are partly covered with colorful tags announcing a $2 price. They are placed against a wall, together with a curved wooden ruler, creating a decreasing line similar to a chart. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled Chart (Floor 2), 2016 (on the floor)

Soap, plastic signs

These discarded objects—the last remains of soaps that have lost their shape—bring to light a certain solitariness of their state.  

 

Untitled Chart (Wall 2), 2016 (against the wall)

Walking sticks, ruler

Six walking sticks of different sizes, from the Japanese brand Daiso, are partly covered with colorful tags announcing a $2 price. They are placed against a wall, together with a curved wooden ruler, creating a decreasing line similar to a chart. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled Chart (Wall 2), 2016

Walking sticks, ruler

Six walking sticks of different sizes, from the Japanese brand Daiso, are partly covered with colorful tags announcing a $2 price. They are placed against a wall, together with a curved wooden ruler, creating a decreasing line similar to a chart. 

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled Chart (Wall 1), 2016

Mixed media

In this work, Gabriel Kuri plays with the idea of charts’ typologies. Composed of ready-made objects organized vertically against a wall—leather belts of different sizes with their plastic tag still on, wooden measuring instruments, and metallic hooks among others—the sculpture forms a minimalist composition.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view

Product Testing Unit, 2016

Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

A calculated journey into a calculated experience, 2007 (foreground)

Latex, synthetic resin, plates, two chairs, IKEA box

The rectangular flat carton of a still packed Ikea table rests casually on two folding chairs, constituting a strange makeshift table. Rather than being an invitation to eat, the perishable rest of cheap food, which looks as if just being left on the table, is transformed into a durable sculpture.

  

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Untitled (Three Frozen Fire Proof Voids), 2010 (detail)

Freezer, rubbish bins, velvet

The paradoxical combination of a freezer, generally used to conserve perishable goods, with trash bins, generally used to dispose of perished goods, draws attention to the dynamic of consumerism, planned obsolescence and waste.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Model for a Victory Parade, 2008 (left)

Conveyor belt, Plexiglas cover, empty energy drink can

 

Clipboard, 2016 (right)

Stainless steel board, paper, packaging, clamps, wooden boards

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Clipboard, 2016 (detail)

Stainless steel board, paper, packaging, clamps, wooden boards

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Product Testing Unit

Gabriel Kuri
Alte Fabrik, Rapperswil
May 21 – July 31, 2016
Previous
Next

The fourth exhibition in the *KURATOR series 120%, Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri’s first Swiss solo show presents both new and existing works on the theme of product testing. Kuri’s art explores society’s economic cycles, its commodities, waste products and excesses, his raw materials being consumer goods, incidental objects and disposable products, all of which he arranges to form sculptural objects.

 

By virtue of their function, look and feel, these materials and products act as information media that reveal something about the society in which they are used. With his sculptures, Kuri visualises the possible messages contained within the materials. The pieces thus emphasise physical characteristics such as weight, texture, flexibility, strength, transparency and degree of human and industrial processing, while Kuri’s collections of everyday found objects use organisational methods such as comparison, systematisation and classification, giving them gain unaccustomed prominence.

 

In Product Testing Unit, his particular focus is on materials and their durability. Kuri’s sculptures can be seen as gestures and processes that are either in flux or that suggest, by virtue of their balance or via narration, the possibility of movement in space and time. The medium of sculpture, too, plays a role, via a juxtaposition of physical properties – the light contrasting with the heavy, the artistic with the unprocessed and the manufactured – that draws attention to the sculptor’s craft.

 

Model for a Victory Parade comprises a moving conveyor belt carrying an aluminium energy drink can. The can is kept pressed against one edge of the belt by the latter’s movement and has to endure this situation indefinitely; the work thus sets the apparent calm of the can against the motion of the belt. What Kuri describes in the title as a “victory parade” is in fact an empty, passive, listless piece of detritus caught in a loop it cannot escape. There is a similarly unvarying quality to the piece Untitled (Three Frozen Fire Proof Voids), which features a chest freezer, formally reminiscent of minimal art’s cuboid shapes, containing three black round bins lined with velvet. Here, Kuri offers us a graphic, geometric image, with its round volumes fitted neatly into the freezer’s rectangle; at the same time, the title emphasises the situation’s absurdity.

 

Untitled (Charted Missing Data), meanwhile, consists of a block of stone perforated with drilled holes and placed on an industrially made steel table that calls to mind a baggage conveyor table, with inflated latex condoms inserted into the only openings on the outer edge of the stone. The contrasts inherent in the sculpture – between natural stone and stainless steel, movement and heft, hardness and softness – lend it an internal tension that results from the enduring and maintaining of these contrasting states.

 

For A Calculated Journey into a Calculated Experience, Kuri has assembled a pair of chairs, an Ikea table still in its box, and crockery featuring a resin and latex mock-up of a fast food meal. It represents both a temporal process and a spatial situation. The packaged, unassembled table serves as a makeshift surface, its potential form left to our imagination, while the leftover meal suggests a quick dinner that has been brought to a sudden halt. The haste evoked by the still boxed-up table and the fast food thus contrasts with the static nature of the sculptural form. On the floor and along the walls of the gallery space are smaller objects, such as wooden doorstops and bits of soap, that seem to have been numbered, systematised and catalogued, thus apparently identifying and classifying incidental objects, things we use or reach for every day.

 

The exhibition Product Testing Unit highlights various aspects of Gabriel Kuri’s artistic practice, offering an overview of his polymorphic sculpture that ranges from the gestural or movement-based to smaller, fragmentary observations of everyday life. Thematically linked to their constituent materials, both in terms of their physical properties and their social meanings, the works serve to illustrate the potential within the incidental.

 

The exhibition is curated by Christina Lehnert.

Search