Review: Adam Shecter, Last Men

The artist channels sci-fi.

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

  • Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

    Installation view

    Installation view

Photograph: Courtesy Eleven Rivington

Installation view

Installation view

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

Adam Shecter's current show at Eleven Rivington opened on May 21, the day the Rapture forgot to happen. Participating in the apocalyptical preoccupations that have spread like a virus through the Internet and various evangelizers, he has created a video projection and limited-edition artist book, both titled Last Men. Together they conjure a view of the future through the lens of the past and deliver up a portrait of a species in decline.

The book, which includes contributions from members of an artists' collective Shecter cofounded called 2-UP, looks like a sci-fi paperback from the 1970s. It contains mostly images (drawings, photographs, hybrids of the two) but also charts, snippets of comics and some text fragments. In the projection, video footage and animated drawings fade in and out of each other as we drift aimlessly between real and invented worlds. A view of grass peeking through snow on the ground morphs into white noise. A comet form appears to mutate into a dandelion gone to seed. A cloud becomes spinning boxes becomes a crystal becomes soldiers in gas masks running frantically. Human presence is fleeting and apparitional; always hand-drawn, Homo sapiens appears to be, at best, a figment of its own imagination.

The inevitability of the ape's journey into space is a sci-fi clich. With the cancellation of the Space Shuttle, this vision of man as astroman is consigned to the past. It now seems unlikely that humanity will find succor in the stars. However, Shecter has created a time capsule where the human race is eternally bound to its interstellar aspirations, all the while longing for a home world that's been carelessly destroyed.

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Eleven Rivington, through July 1;