Magazine article Art Monthly

Jason Rhoades: 1:12 Perfect World

Magazine article Art Monthly

Jason Rhoades: 1:12 Perfect World

Article excerpt

Jason Rhoades: 1:12 Perfect World

Hauser & Wirth London 24 September to 18 December

'I:12 Perfect World', the first solo European exhibition of Jason Rhoades's work since his death in 2006, is a strange affair. Departing from the high-puerility of his previous installation at Hauser & Wirth London (The Black Pussy... and the Pagan Idol Workshop, 2005), '1:12 Perfect World' is a scaled down (to 1/12 of its original size) reimagining of his mega sculpture Perfect World, 1999. Originally installed across Deichtorhallen Hamburg's i5,000sqft gallery space with its 80ft-high ceilings, the center-piece of the current installation is a kind of miniaturised meta-sculpture, previously constructed so that Rhoades could survey the entire installation. Consisting of this work--also titled 1:12 Perfect world, 2000--and a number of actual artefacts from the exhibition in 1999, '1:12 Perfect World' is an exhibition of an exhibition; a display haunted by the spectre of its own subject matter.

In the centre of Hauser & Wirth's main room, a complex scaffold of miniature aluminium rods sits atop large, flat, glass islands, which are in turn placed upon plastic kettledrums. On top of the aluminium rods, little triangular slabs of wood are placed and in turn covered with miniature Persian rugs and laminated photographs of the grass in Rhoades's father's back garden. In the original staging, this second level of photographs was obviously much larger: a kind of Edenic space high above ground which Rhoades--by virtue of a hydraulic lift--could continue his work upon. A walk around the periphery of the sculpture reveals other types of machinery--photocopiers, laminators, looms--and a narrative of unfinished business, of an industrial process abandoned in full flow, begins to emerge. To help navigate the cat's cradle of ideas and objects present in 1:12 Perfect World, a sketchbook of concepts, completed before the original i999 sculpture, is on hand to be leafed through. Approximately 400 pages of notes in Xerox Book From Perfect World, 1999, reveal Rhoades's preoccupation with ascension and descension, dividing and divining levels of meaning; sober ruminations undercut by sentences of spontaneous vulgarity, such as 'my pussy looks like a slice of pizza'.

In the same room, View from Below (Guernica), 2000, is a floor plan of the jagged wooden triangles that make up the second floor's 'perfect world' platform. …

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