Opening March 2nd, 2012 at Concord Space in Los Angeles, CORNERED is an exhibition of new audio / visual installation work by David Casey and Joe Grimm. The exhibition, curated by Ariel Lauren Pittman, explores the manifold phenomenologies of the corner as a poetic space of defense, retreat, safety, and threat.
In his much beloved text, The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard proposes that the corner is a place where one withdraws into his true self and imagines the larger space around him in accordance with his own needs and wants: “Every corner in a house, every angle in a room, every inch of secluded space in which we like to hide, or withdraw into ourselves, is a symbol of solitude for the imagination; that is to say, it is the germ of a room or a house.” The corner is a place to experience the cacophony of one’s own thoughts. He proposes corners as places where one can ruminate and mourn, strategize and self-actualize. However, Bachelard ignores the defensive and restrictive possibilities of “being cornered.” In our lexicon, the corner is also a space into which one is shoved, into which one retreats before emerging with their back covered; to corner is to gain control at the expense of someone or something else. CORNERED highlights the corner as the “germ of a room or a house,” an autopoietic space where individuals or objects may be contained in their material form, but from which entire imagined, psychic and experiential spaces can grow. The exhibition also plumbs the more nefarious implications of cornering as a competitive and aggressive act.
CORNERED emerged from questions about how artists and artworks occupy the spaces assigned to them in exhibitions, and also the spaces of the gallery from which their work is, ostensibly, restricted out of respect to the autonomy of other artworks on display. In contrast to the linear, narrative organization of the majority of exhibitions where one object or experience precedes another, marching along a wall or through a series of architectural spaces, CORNERED transforms the gallery into a boxing ring of sorts where two noisy, kinetic installations face off against one another from their respective corners. The majority of the gallery space is a physically empty, but well-occupied area where the works penetrate one another, jostle, and compete for the viewer’s attention. Occupying psychic and sensorial spaces beyond each installation’s individual material boundaries, these artworks do not necessarily combine to build a total exhibition experience, instead they produce the dissonance of two self-contained systems making noise at one another.