Ajay Kurian, "Proleptic"

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5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Master Slave Complex (Proleptically Speaking...), 2013

 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Bacchanal, 2013

 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Comfort Zone #1, 2013

 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, installation view of "Proleptic" at Canal 47
 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, installation view of "Proleptic" at Canal 47
 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, installation view of "Proleptic" at Canal 47
 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Pop-up Baum (Empire), 2013

 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Wondering, 2013
 (Joerg Lohse)
Joerg LohseAjay Kurian, Tumbled, 2013

Set within a wall just inside of 47 Canal is a Wunderkammer filled with reindeer moss, candy-colored LEGO blocks and tchotchkes such as a wheel spun by a battery-powered hamster. This unlikely aggregation has a tacky, quirky appeal that sets the tone for Ajay Kurian’s solo debut, which employs time-capsule metaphors to suggest a sort of temporal purgatory.

In one work, inspired by a proposal for a New Mexico facility for housing nuclear waste up to a mind-boggling 10,000 years, the artist overlays a computer rendering based on Albrecht Dürer’s 1503 study of weeds with a Munch-style screaming face (actually a warning symbol from the aforementioned site) that periodically emits a strobe flash.

A vitrine containing a pop-up book illustration of a Wizard of Oz–type palace occupies its space like an ancient reliquary. In yet another case, an old TV lies on its back within a thicket of dried brush, appearing to evoke the past even as a nearby tangle of copper wire and a rather extraterrestrial-looking egg summon present and future. Eerie and poetic, Kurian’s work asks us to consider being out of time in more ways than one.—Merrily Kerr


Event phone: 646-415-7712
Event website: http://47canalstreet.com

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This is some of the best new art I've ever seen on the Lower East Side. Visually stunning, conceptually cohesive and to-the-point: a rare combination. And its all centered around an interesting and relevant real world nuclear waste project in New Mexico. This was the first of about a dozen art shows that I saw today, and it made my afternoon!