"A confused and muddled onslaught of cramped words, muffled groans, and hostile images. He said he would spare me direct violence by instead slipping his tongue around my ear, letting a small semblance of apprehension tickle my flesh with hate. What an asshole."
This exhibition further explores Crawford’s ongoing interest in testing speech. Demands, Accusations, Laments, Howls, Insults, Excuses, Proclamations: these utterances ring throughout the gallery by means of suspended text, intermittent screams, groans, stuttering video imagery, strobes and thematic soundtracks. This confrontation is not subtle. It takes a shot at fulfilling the throbbing tension behind every spoken word; the secret death language brings when it speaks. A room full of throats and tongues speaking sentences that never amount to legitimate communication, nervously approaching the terror of the immediate that words hide and voices fail to contain.
With video, sound, light, textual banners and music, this exhibition limits itself with a monochrome palette and static imagery while holding the gallery space hostage with vinyl, rope and music which traverse and fill all rooms. A conscious route around and through its objects is forced. A checklist of the show’s objects includes: a photograph taken in the middle of a terrifying night of a terrifying pile of blankets, a bulging self portrait with knife, confused sentences and statements inspired by an over consumption of news, two suspended poems (one on death, the other on birth), and hovering over all an oppressive soundtrack borrowing the structures of cinematic tropes. As in previous work, the tension is sparked by wanting to speak out loud with all the violence speech entails, while simultaneously expressing an inadequacy to use one’s voice in the first place.
Cal Crawford received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2007 and lives in Los Angeles. He has previously exhibited his work in exhibitions and screenings at Sister, Los Angeles, Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles, and Midway Contemporary, Minneapolis, among others. This will be the artist's first Solo Exhibition in New York.