Honor Fraser Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Glenn Kaino on view from January 10 to February 14, 2015. Labyrinths includes works in materials including paper, metal, synthetic tears, and wax along with ephemeral forces like gravity, temperature, and time. The exhibition is a constellation of propositions addressing ideas about the construction of history, memory, and received knowledge.
Wax plays a central role in Kaino’s new work. The Last Sight of Icarus is a 40-foot long wall constructed from cast wax cinderblocks. Bisecting one of the gallery’s main spaces, the work raises questions about the distinction between the representation of power and its actual manifestation. Show Me Your Scars is a series of wall-mounted bas reliefs of topographical maps of the United States cast in wax. The reliefs are threaded with wicks that burn down to create drawings within the wax. The resulting cuts and disfigurations call to mind the country’s egregious and opportunistic histories. Stripped of cartographic information, the maps are rendered illegible, exchanging empirical data for symbolism.
A Shout Within a Storm is a mobile composed of more than 100 copper arrows pointing at the same invisible target to create the shape of a cone. An evolution of Kaino’s pin drawings, each arrow is reliant upon the other to form a resolved image. As Far Away as a Minute is a model of a wormhol — a theoretical passage linking various non-contiguous points in spacetime. Pieced together in a patchwork of sandpaper used by several artisans working in different places and at different times, the construction maps labor and explores the ontology of art. The images in both of these works rely on negative space for their legibility, and their forms appear to change relative to the position of the viewer, suggesting a set of contingencies that reflects our experience of the world.
Using silkscreened facsimiles of historical maps of the terrain purported to hide the mythical city of El Dorado, The Road to El Dorado is a series of paper works folded by origami master Robert Lang. The tessellations reconfigure boundaries and conceal cartographic information, resulting in abstract drawings. Made at three different historical periods by three different cartographers, the three maps used for the series were printed in gold ink on both sides of the paper: a positive image on one side and a negative, backwards image on the other. For Yasmine’s Tears, Kaino was inspired by a conversation with Egyptian writer Yasmine El Rashidi in which she described her emotions following the election of Mohamed Morsi, ending the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak. In this work, Kaino used synthetic tears to draw a labyrinth across a low wood platform. The sculpture’s hydrophobic properties allow visitors to walk through the tears without permanently disrupting the labyrinth, which coalesces into its intended form again and again.
Glenn Kaino was born in Los Angeles in 1972. He received a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Irvine in 1993 and a Master of Fine Arts from University of California, San Diego in 1996. Honor Fraser Gallery presented Kaino’s exhibition Bring Me the Hands of Piri Reis in 2012. One-person exhibitions of his work have been mounted at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2014); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Creative Time, New York, NY (2009); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2006); and REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2004). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ (2014-2015); Prospect.3: Notes for Now, New Orleans, LA (2014); ALTER/ABOLISH/ADDRESS, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Washington, DC (2014); GOLD, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL (2014); Cage & Kaino: Pieces and Performances, World Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis, MO (2014); Meanwhile… Suddenly, and Then, 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013); Selections From the Hammer Contemporary Collection, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2011); The Artists’ Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008); California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2004); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY (2004); Blackbelt, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2003); and One Planet Under a Groove, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY (2001).