George Carr (US)
Curated by Christofer Degrer
Galleri CC is pleased to present the American artist George Carr’s first European solo exhibition "Mill Bastard".
Working in the tradition of assemblage, the artist presents recent installation pieces, several drawings, and a video made in collaboration with Brook Hsu and Kyle Goldbach, in our new space at Båstadsgatan 4 in Malmö.
It is via writers such as Antonio Gramsci, that Carr’s practice proposes an investigation into globalizing capitalism. Growing up in central Florida, the artist considers his first-hand experiences of the theme park industry’s hyper-tourism, the prevalent American middle-class (or the illusion thereof), and consumer culture at large, as formidable in drawing links between art and politics. What we see today in the United States, if not almost everywhere else in the western world, a total adherence to values of the market. Reinforcing the hegemony of this very specific economic system and culture, is a non-identification of the working class, where the end of the world seems more plausible than the end of a system set to destabilize our ecology, perpetuate inequality, and limit the production of possibility.
Using low-cost and found materials, Carr sets out to explore alienation through manual processes of sewing, cutting, and mark-making. A return to the tactility and potential of raw material, or in recognizing the pervasive nature of capitalism—the ghost of raw material—that goes on to suggest an elsewhere where possibility may be reinstated. Throughout his multi-disciplinary practice is the exercise of art’s ability to transform the utmost accessible into an antagonism of the dominant.
The exhibition opens up to the large-scale work Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Made from reflective foil like that of fun-fair balloons, this reference to Richard Hamilton’s pop art collage from 1956 implies both the structural skeleton, and unfinished construction of, a small dwelling. As the show goes on, air slowly leaches out of the hollow balloon trusses, legs, and crossbraces, making it limper and sag over time. Enclosing the structure is a fluorescently-colored wall painting, reflected onto the surfaces of the ongoing deflation of the work. On the wall to the right, leading to Galleri CC’s second room are the collages Key (#2) and Key (#3), developed by a variation of folding, sewing, and patching pieces of paper together which are then colored and drawn on with massive pieces of charcoal. Carr’s second sculpture, Fountain, stands in the center of the space in the back. Sewn clear plastic forms with black liquid running through them makes up a soft structure, calling the object of a fountain to mind, configured inside an armature made out of local timber joined by axe-work. Expanding into sites of exception away from capitalism, is the video Everything is Not Okay projected in the basement space. Fellow American artist Brook Hsu in collaboration with George Carr and Kyle Goldbach, here shows a documentary where she follows Carr and Goldbach around Connecticut. As the friends attempt an understanding of their place in suburban nature, they start to relate their existence to the ecological system at large, a becoming animal.
It is through a variety of mediums, all tied together through processes of, and allusions to, histories of manual labor, transparency of processes, the artist within ecology, and exercises of resistance—be it gravity, rigidity, or tension, that Carr’s work makes visible becomings of utopias in a time of a critical absence of imagining better futures.