Haris Epaminonda: Casey Kaplan

By Wilson, Michael | Artforum International, Summer 2016 | Go to article overview

Haris Epaminonda: Casey Kaplan


Wilson, Michael, Artforum International


Haris Epaminonda

CASEY KAPLAN

Offering in lieu of an expository statement a meandering anecdote about one Mr. Morimoto--an elderly Japanese painter who purportedly graced a 2015 exhibition of hers at intervals "based on a timetable according to a graph depicting a fictional mountain"--Haris Epaminonda prefers to present viewers with the kind of narrative that, like Morimoto's, "continues in the margins." Using pedestals, tables, architectural modifications, and other devices to frame her works' components, Epaminonda engineers displays with an almost pathologically neat-and-tidy look, rescuing them from airlessness by playing games of hide-and-seek, wrapping artifacts and ideas around one another and the gallery space.

A description of Untitled #1 a/v, 2016, the first installation in Epaminonda's exhibition "VOL. XVII," ought to give some idea of its maker's approach. A cream-colored Chinese porcelain vase stood atop a low black-and-white lacquered wooden pedestal, one corner of which was protected by a slender metal railing that rose from the floor. On the wall nearby was a framed book page that documented, in a few lines of text, a landscape painting by Chung Lee, a Korean artist active in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Finally, escaping around a corner was an antique-looking iron sculpture of a snake. Certain commonalities between these things--the vase and the catalogue page, for example--seemed straightforward, while others were rather less apparent.

The visual elegance of Epaminonda's juxtapositions of the vintage, the new, and the timeless has much in common with conspicuously "curated" works by other artists, most notably Carol Bove, yet Epaminonda pushes the use of museological trappings further than others. In this respect, one might even compare her work to that of Liam Gillick (another member of this gallery's stable) in its attempt to conceptually reenergize specifically delineated zones of physical space. …

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