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September 22–November 20, 2022
Tensors, the first solo show by Dallas-born artist Cudelice Brazelton IV in the UK, creates a responsive atmosphere with newly commissioned sound, installation, painting, and assemblage pieces.
Tensors are both mathematical constructs that anticipate the various forms a vector may take and the muscles that stretch and contract different regions of our body. When talking about the exhibit and its spatial arrangement, Brazelton brings up the concept of peripheral vision once more. This concept is similar to an embodied sense of dormant threat because it goes beyond the eye’s ability to detect objects and movement away from the center of the gaze. a spectral presence that stays with the bodies of those who have lived in unstable circumstances.
Brazelton manipulates what he refers to as “the undercurrents in the material,” rearranging signs, forms, and things typically connected to either historical avant-gardes or industrial modernity to make clear their social and material connections with punk subculture, industrial labor practices, and the Black experience. A carbon steel plate named Abrade is a clear sign of Brazelton’s prior employment in Ohio’s industrial foundries. It is inspired by the retro-futurist outlines of Buddy Esquire’s iconic hip hop flyers and laser cut into an art deco-like design. A new type of developing urban culture was promoted in the late 1970s Bronx thanks to the Art Deco movement, which was a reaction to early twentieth-century advances in aerodynamics. Abrade provides the show with an ambient soundtrack by Columbus-based musician ConQuest Tony Phillips, which samples Brazelton’s grinding recordings of the enormous factory magnet moving train couplers across the ceiling of his former workplace. This soundtrack is powered by a small audio exciter that is magnetized to the back of the frame cutout.
A sewing machine pedal, tensioned rubber bands, and a clothesline are examples of readily available everyday objects that serve as allegorical hints in the creation of the artist’s abstract grammar. As the exhibition transforms linear signification into a flurry of associations, the assemblages Bricoleur and Bricoleur II shape-shift into a formation of black-outlined figures that echo spatial diagrams or mechanical models. The “bricoleurs” are integrated in a frame-instrument alignment that is griddled to the wall and extends to the floor, suggesting automation or movement. A potentiometer, a common electrical device used to speed up sewing needles, reverberate a voice onstage, and dim lights, is activated by the “Singer” sewing machine pedal. Here, it blurs the line that would appear to separate monotonous industrial work from creative, self-affirming activities.
Tensors aims to decentre three things: the installation’s relationship to its surrounds; the subject’s inability to see around him or her; and a cerebral study of the issue at hand. Instead, it favors a more acute physiological awareness of the current environment and its peculiarities. Brazelton views form less as a closed visual system and more as a component of lived experience that moves in and out of these contexts. Tensors uses the power of abstraction to increase awareness of the physical world and takes a more relaxed approach to separating cultural and social fixations.
Curator: Adomas Narkevičius.
Cudelice Brazelton IV (b. Dallas, USA) lives and works in Frankfurt, and studied at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Germany. Selected solo and duo exhibitions include A Curve of Many at Murmurs, Los Angeles (2022), Starter Kit Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2021) and Bronzed from Silver Galerie Sans titre (2016), Paris (2021). Brazelton’s exhibitions in 2022 include Recoil with Dozie Kanu at International Waters, NYC; Violent Groom at Galeria Wschód in Warsaw, Poland and HEAVY-CIRCUIT at Ola Bunker, Frankfurt. In 2019 Brazelton presented Prune at Shoot The Lobster, NYC, with Nicholas Grafia. Recent group exhibitions include Beneath Tongues at Swiss Institute, curated by Sable Elyse Smith (2022) and Vigil at Galeria Wschód and Emmanuel Layr, Warsaw (2021). In 2020 the artist exhibited in Cuerpos at Lodos Gallery, Mexico City, and In Practice; Another Echo at Sculpture Centre, NYC.