“Rest”

“Rest” is a group exhibition and performance series that ruminates on the faint and deep impressions of leisure, especially against the backdrop of work-from-anywhere culture. Take the four steel shelving units comprising Max Shamash’s sculpture, against the glass, 2022, which support other readymade pieces by artists in this show. Shamash has outfitted his work with hidden speakers that play a stereophonic recording of a fly infestation that hovers in and out of earshot. The work seems a meditation on collapse and decay—indeed, the “rest” of eternal slumber.

Placed on Shamash’s piece are Pamela Ramos’s clusters of blooms, Untitled (Bouquet #1–5), 2022, which lay wrapped in snapshots, printed on newsprint, of her travels in Oaxaca, Mexico, and Los Angeles. As one can imagine, the flowers wilted rapidly, their rot and moisture distorting the images on the paper. This calculated application of entropy makes clear that rest is sometimes not an escape, but a cover for hidden processes that can quietly change everything.

Making up Lauren Burns-Coady’s mini installation Untitled (the mice), 2022—also displayed on the shelves—are receipts from the likes of Economy Candy, the restaurant Dimes, and neighboring smoke shops on New York’s Lower East Side. The papers are pierced by the tails of mouse-shaped brass paperweights. This months-long accumulation functions as a late-capitalist portrait of the artist and her friends, whose identities can be parsed out, at least somewhat, by their purchases, which suggest hours of shopping and eating.

Aki Sasamoto’s stark sculpture, however, Past in a future tense, Table 2, 2019, provides an emphatic contrast. Atop a pedestal table, a whiskey glass, animated by air pushed through a ventilation pipe, spins inside a glass bubble, unable to stop. The endlessly rotating vessel calls to mind the movements of a clock, signaling that the passage of time is, sadly, something we’ll never get a proper rest from.

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