At the centre of my ironic faith

Emily Cadotte
Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto December 6, 2020–February 28, 2021
Asma Still Life, 2019.
Photo : courtesy of Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto
Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto December 6, 2020–February 28, 2021
Chris Lloyd
Manifest destiny suqs,2020.
Photo : courtesy of Cassandra Cassandra, Toronto
At the centre of my ironic faith lies a campfire… a bear trap… blinds crumpled on the floor? In this three-way show, objects are slippery, elusive, even mythic. The work of artist duo Asma (Mexico City), Marlon Kroll (Montréal), and Chris Lloyd (Brooklyn), demonstrates a mastery of materials that can only be expressed through their distortion. The artists leave hints of familiarity in their works, assembling them into something just a little beyond recognition. 

In a work by Asma, a leather jacket hangs on a closet doorknob. Its surface has been singed with line-drawn landscapes obscured by folds in the fabric. Suspended from the ceiling, felted steel wool masquerades as a stained-glass window in which a skeletal hand plucks the stamen from a flower. A wood panel with a series of burned lines and inlaid metals, mimics the reflection one might see in a bathroom mirror. There is a doubling of sink, tiles, and soap dish, yet the returned gaze mysteriously lacks. Interspersed around the space, Kroll’s contraptions winkingly bemuse. Bits of office furniture and pocket knickknacks are sublimated into quasi-kinetic sculpture with the aid of beeswax and painted muslin. Their perceived use taunts as they psychically oscillate between Rube Goldberg machine and live animal trap. Meanwhile Lloyd’s chopped and screwed collage-drawings, as rendered through the lens of a glitter-glue wielding child, depict a pastiche of 11 O’clock news, Showtime movies, PBS documentaries, and other such late-night television offerings. Their naivety re-exposes a collective desensitization to the inherent violence of Americana. Each of the works seem at once entirely knowable and completely out of reach. A warping of their thingness binds them all together.

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This article also appears in the issue 102 - (Re)seeing Painting

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