GROUND CONTROL | Joseph Smolinski
Project Space | DREAMLAND | David Hodge + Hi-Jin Hodge
May 15 – June 21, 2009
Exhibition opening Friday, May 15, 6-8PM
We are proud to present Joseph Smolinski’s first solo show on the West Coast. GROUND CONTROL debuts a new body of work – graphite on paper, sculpture-based installation and video, encompassing hopeful and catastrophic visions of the contemporary landscape.
Smolinski is in curious awe of nature. Through developing societies, tragedies of war and natural disasters, trees continue to regulate our climate, improve our water quality and clean our air. The oldest and largest organisms on our planet have survived a history longer than we can seem to remember. Images of trees permeate his work not only through its religious, political and personal histories but also as means to question technology and the future of the natural world.
One day Smolinski came across a giant fake tree looming above the interstate landscape. This pseudo-biotech hybrid was erected to camouflage the cellular communication transmitters beneath its fronds. In this vision, parasitic cell tower trees populate the landscape in many forms that become historical landmarks, roadside curiosities and subjects of natural disasters.
Through these explorations, Smolinski wondered what else the tree could become. He began reading about wind power and its aesthetic opponents that lead him to the Tree Turbine project. It is clear that wind generated electricity is a clean sustainable alternative to climate-warming fossil fuels. He concluded that if these opposing groups disguised their cell towers as trees then why not a wind turbine? In 2008, Smolinski presented a video and series of sculptures, drawings and documentation of a 20-foot tall prototype at Mass MoCA as part of the exhibition “Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape.”
A three-part installation in the gallery titled, Taking Back the Jetty, comments on a future where the oil companies have succeeded in their quest for oil defacing the pristine view from Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty in Utah's Great Salt Lake. The last resort to preserve this site, perhaps more devastating than the first, is a very powerful and dramatic act.
Joseph Smolinski has exhibited at Mixed Greens (NY), Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, MA, among others. His work is in the collections of West Collection at SEI, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery. Joseph’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America, and Time Out NY. Joseph currently lives and works in New Haven, CT and is represented on the East Coast by Mixed Greens (NY).
Project Space | DREAMLAND | David Hodge and Hi-Jin Hodge
When we dream, we are released from everyday logic, the laws of physics, and the expectations of coherent storytelling. “Dreamland” explores this phenomenon by presenting a pastiche of dream sequences from multiple storytellers. The absence of a conventional storyline and structure does not produce chaos. Instead, the dream structure itself provides the logic that draws the stories into a coherent, stimulating, and entertaining experience.
This installation encompasses a single channel video projected from the ceiling onto a mattress on the floor.
David Hodge and Hi-Jin Hodge have created video installations for artistic exhibitions around the world. Their pieces typically blend editorial materials and innovative uses of technology to explore complex human and social questions. Above all, they create aesthetically appealing work that identifies foundational principles and expands on them through multiple viewpoints.
Their work encompasses both new and traditional types of media. They've shown ocean views on the side of a 40-story office building in downtown Seoul and were the first to use video iPods in an artistic installation. Currently they are at work creating new installations for their first solo exhibition: Closer by the Minute, which will begin its journey at the Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago in the spring of 2010.