Object Study


Familiar objects double, stretch and twist in "Manufacturing Flaws," Mexican-Japanese artist Hisae Ikenaga's current exhibition at Praxis, in New York.  Large wall sculptures of a helicopter, plane, motorcycle and car, made with brightly colored carpet felt, hang on pins throughout the gallery space.  Adopting a playful take on "the possible physical anomalies developed in mass-produced objects," Ikenaga has distorted each rendering: the helicopter sprouts two propellers, for instance; and, in a potentially sobering turn, an airplane sprouts twin heads.  Unfortunately, small, paper collage replicas of these artworks, also included in the show, detract from the novelty and material charm of their big brothers.  More interesting is Ikenaga's Aislados (Isolated) (2007), a three-dimensional island topography created within the pages of a Spanish telephone book.  The book sits open on a pedestal, its right side holding the island elevation, and its left side the relief.  The winner of the Generación 2008 prize, Aislados (Isolated) creates an interesting overlap between population and geography, in building an island out of a book of names, while also offering a funny amplification of the antisocial, labor-intensive process its creation entailed.  A similar agenda informs Siamese Book, a hardcover copy of Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude that the artist has torqued at its binding and seamed, page-by-page, at its center.  Books and solitude, it would seem, are excellent materials for self-reflexive art-making. - Tyler Coburn

Image: Hisae Ikenaga, Aislados (Isolated), 2007