18 November - 30 December 2023
Advice, instruction, caution—and the ability to ignore it at one’s risk. In the visual vocabularies of Low Clearance, a group exhibition by artists Jonathan Herrera Soto, Lizette Hernandez, Erick Alejandro Hernández, and Pedram Sazesh, the narrow boundary separating hazard and safety becomes a metaphorical space for the infinite potentials of artistic transformation. Across forms, across fidelities, and across even memories, this exhibition suggests that the tension which persists between the allowable and the forbidden is itself a medium laden with the capacity to hold gestures and memories, and maintain the cloud of ambiguity within which the impermissible and the forgotten can exist once more.
In the works of Jonathan Herrera Soto (b. 1994), incomplete spaces are represented through mark-making with residues, organic and otherwise. As reflections on the ephemeral nature of human experiences—rendered here as inarticulable instances—Soto’s paintings capture both the physical processes of rot and destruction wrought by corrosive substances on the painting surface and the blurry figurations of memories in passing. Meanwhile, for Lizette Hernandez (b. 1992), a suite of four works in pottery emulate the the colours and textures of ancient artefacts unearthed from archaeological sites, evoking a sense of poignance and nostalgia. Mimicking the aura of sacred objects which often lead the binary existence of being living instruments used and worshiped by extant communities of faith and the indexed dead things to be found, catalogued, and displayed within institutions of anthropological and historical interests, Hernandez’s work contemplates the agency of the divine as an immanent attribute that could be made material.
For Erick Alejandro Hernández (b. 1994), the margins represented exist as a social construct of precarity that nevertheless retain a potency of its violence on both physical and psychical fronts. In his two vividly choreographed yet chromatically dull paintings, the performances of grief and anxiety are portrayed as both communal and individual experiences of pain and trauma, alluding to deep seated public issues of justice and precarity. Deploying a language of pure abstraction, Pedram Sazesh (b. 1993)’s paintings suggest an inherent vibrance and dynamism contained by the interplay of form and subject, deftly creating kinetic moments that bring to mind mechanical optical illusions and their symbolic logics.