Friday, May 06, 2016

duet: Friday, 6 May 2016

Brandon Engstrom (Los Angeles) and Kevin (St. Louis)
May 6 - July 9, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, May 6, 6-8 pm

Duet’s new show separates out the artistic production methods. Kevin produced by an anonymous collective based in St Louis in Duet’s front room crawlspace echoes the bunker-like interior of the gallery. Each object inside is an individual record of the Kevin entity, yet the whole production of ephemera forms a potentially limitless crowd. Kevin’s teeming underground existence physically defines a dank occluded mental space.  These are notes from the underground: “What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path” by an underground figure as absurd as he is obscure. “to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, willfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness…” In the end Kevin is watching. As the viewer chasing a fugitive sensation you become the ‘pursuant’ for your own conscience.

Engstrom’s installation depicts a “Tearing and consuming” of cast candy female buttocks by a ratline of nocturnal rodents. Engstrom stored his carb-rich sculptures in a gritty apartment in LA’s K-town. He was shocked to find that the sculptures were gnawed at each night.  Smaller residents, living in the wall recesses of the building became his harshest critics literally consuming his work.   Undeterred by the setback he set up cameras and recorded the grizzly cannibalization “till the bitterness turns into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last – into positive real enjoyment!” Much like the narrator in Notes from the Underground who explores the enjoyment of Toothache as a willfully irrational act of defiance, Engstrom uses the insatiable appetites of rodents to determine his own uncertainty and hesitations.

3526 Washington Avenue
Suite 300,
St Louis, MO 63103


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