Ron Giii
The Effect of Temperature

Adam Lauder
Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
January 12  –  February 17, 2024
Ron-Giii _TheEffectofTemperature
Ron GiiiThe Effect of Temperature, exhibition view, 2024.
Photo: LF Documentation
Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto
January 12  –  February 17, 2024
Blazing colour temperatures evocative of a rapidly warming planet collided with molecular dramas sparked by the writings of evolutionary biochemist Nick Lane in Ron Giii’s latest exhibition at Paul Petro. Giii’s thermal motif was announced by a pulsing installation of acrylic-ink abstractions bearing poignant titles such as Mitochondria Heating (2023) and The Melting Greenland Glaciers (2023). Lane’s writings propose a radical rethinking of life’s origins and fundamental building blocks in which heat is the master key to unlocking life’s origins and imperilled futurity. Challenging prevailing representations of DNA as a blueprint for life, Lane hypothesizes that metabolic processes regulating temperature actually preceded the emergence of genetic code in the evolutionary narrative. Conjecturing that the sponge-like structures of deep-sea hydrothermal vents were the cradle of life, Lane believes that the way membranes mediate exchanges of energy in living organisms today mirrors these primeval conditions.

Lane’s reimagining of basic assumptions about life inspired Giii’s earlier exhibition Parallel Membranes (2022), whose title was itself a nod to a passage in Lane’s book Transformer. The field-like character of energy transmission across organic tissues inspired the electric zips of paired diptychs, whose stripes are alternately hard-edged and loosely brushed. Giii chose metallic pigments to materialize the inorganic ingredients of life in the oceanic primordial soup. The Effect of Temperature recontextualized this earlier series, alongside the stunning atomic drama of Quantum Theatre (2022), in relation to new works. The result was a striking superposition of microcosm and macrocosm, of molecular interactions and the spectacle of a planetary climate system in crisis.

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