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David Kordansky Gallery is very pleased to announce Total Social Objects\, an exhibition of new work by Steven Claydon. The exhibition opens on April 27 and runs through June 22\, 2013\; an opening reception will be held on Saturday\, Ap ril 27 from 6:00 until 9:00 pm. 

Steven Claydon dramatizes and interrogates the ways in which objec ts have been described\, venerated\, understood and misunderstood throughou t the course of civilization. This process involves a wide range of social\ , historical\, economic\, and literary factors\, and is intended to differe ntiate an object's social or anthropocentric 'agency' from its innate\, 'th ingly' materiality. In Claydon's sculptures\, objects are not seen as the a ntitheses of living things\, but as entities that differ from the living by a difference of a degree\, possessed of their own 'animism' and with their own capacity for will\, hubris\, and desire.

Total Social Objects focuses on the migratio n of cultural forms\, taking into account both physical movement and the tr ansit of objects through hierarchies of ideas\, values\, and symbols. The e xhibition consists of both floor- and wall-based works\, and includes mater ials as diverse as steel\, wood\, aluminum\, oil paint\, straw\, cuttlefish ink\, and seaweed. Throughout\, signifiers borrowed from maritime and ship ping contexts have been passed through a visual sieve woven from numerous a rt historical tropes.

Pr ime examples of this thrust in the work are two sculptures based on caniste r-like forms that have been rendered in highly finished materials. Claydon transforms the container––itself predicated on absence and what might fill it\, like a floating signifier––into a modernist totem perched on self-cons ciously museological bases. The containers\, as forms\, are thereby display ed in a state of revolt against the utilitarian or servile roles into which they have traditionally been cast: they are allowed to shine as their own luxurious beings\, even as they are elevated to the status of works of art and become cultural 'products' of another kind.

Luxury is in fact one of the principal lines of sig nification that have been woven throughout the show. It can be seen in the color palette of reds\, yellows\, and neutral tones that unites the dispara te materials on display\, and keys associations\, for instance\, to high-en d brands and the surfaces they fetishize. However\, once displaced in the f ictive\, quasi-nautical realm that Claydon has created\, these same colors simultaneously call to mind the seedier side of cultural transit\, one that includes container ships and other purely utilitarian objects. The quality of luxury (especially as it pertains to artworks) becomes but one more bur den that humans place upon the supposedly inert objects with which they sur round themselves. 

The e xhibition also suggests that high-end objects undergo their own version of tarnish and decay as they are transported from one realm (be it spatial\, t emporal\, or cultural) to another. In Sc-scaffold (London prick)\, the intensely yellow bust of a bearded figure suggests a paradoxical form\ , both classical and contemporary in origin\; when seen from behind\, howev er\, the yellow gives way to a craggy\, metallic material reminiscent of su nken treasure\, with the word 'London' stamped into its surface in the styl e of a hallmark. The passage of time is revealed precisely in terms of its material effect\, and––as in other works on view that include labels and 'b rands' of various sorts\, including strange\, rune-like symbols more in kee ping with science fiction and space travel than sea transport––language poi nts both to identification (familiarity) and loss (missing referents). 

In a series of wall-based w orks that straddle the lines between painting\, sculpture\, assemblage\, an d reliquary\, the network of associations Claydon puts into play can be rea d as a kind of rebus. Perspex boxes contain various objects\, including sma ll\, cartoonish\, oil-on-linen images of sea creatures performing human act ivities\; ceramic forms that appear to be Chinese dragons\; and lengths of straw or video tape. They pose questions about why specific objects end up together\, and about what produces the combinations of anthropocentrism and materiality that define them. 

This is particularly true of Picture Element (aquatic apes YAC) \, in which a haunting\, realistically-rendered painting of a boating scene hovers behind a veil of tinted cellophane\, surrounded by a convex la minate frame. The work is part vision\, part artifact\, a shard of fictiona l history dreaming its way into reality.

Steven Claydon has been the subject of numerous solo exhib itions in institutional contexts\, including Culpable Earth\, firs tsite\, Colchester\, Essex\, England\; Mon Plaisir... Votre Travail...< /em>\, La Salle de bains\, Lyon\, France\; The Ancient Set and The Fict ional Pixel\, Serpentine Pavilion\, London\; and Courtesy of the N eighborhood Watch\, White Columns\, New York. Notable group exhibition s include In the Space of the Beholder | Contemporary Sculpture\, from the Sammlung Moderne Kunst\, Pinakothek der Moderne\, Munich\; Sou ndworks\, Institute of Contemporary Arts\, London\; Secret Societi es. To Know\, To Dare\, To Will\, To Keep Silence\, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt\, Frankfurt\, Germany and CAPC de Bordeaux\; Time Again\ , SculptureCenter\, New York\; British Art Show 7: In the Days of the C omet\; At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin an d Rebecca Eisenberg\, Center for Curatorial Studies\, Bard College\, A nnandale-on-Hudson\, NY\; Golden Times\, Haus der Kunst\, Munich\;  Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967\, Museum of Contemporary Art\, Chicago\; and Rings of Saturn\, Tate Modern \, London. In addition\, his work will be included in the upcoming Bust ed exhibition of outdoor sculpture on the High Line in New York. Clayd on lives and works in London.

DTEND:20130622 DTSTAMP:20140918T192545 DTSTART:20130427 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Total Social Objects\, Steven Claydon UID:272113 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130427T210000 DTSTAMP:20140918T192545 DTSTART:20130427T180000 GEO:34.0544257;-118.3432562 LOCATION:David Kordansky Gallery\,5130 W. Edgewood Place \nLos Angeles\, CA 90019 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Total Social Objects\, Steven Claydon UID:272114 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR