THEORY OF PROSE – LUCAS SIMÕES AND MASKULL LASSERRE AT ARSENAL GALLERY NEW YORK
The contemporary art gallery Arsenal exhibits works by Simões (Brazilian) and Lasserre (Canadian) that borrow Schklovsky’s concept of ‘estrangement’ to question the ideas of object, material and function.
Lucas Simões’s sculptural work combines sturdy materials like steel and concrete with more delicate ones, such as paper and copper. The artist’s thoughtful juxtapositions of materials emphasize the tension between built form and unstable matter to achieve a gentle balance via the elusive force of gravity. In this way, his work draws attention to the invisible phenomena that affect the material world. Trained as an architect, Simões’s practice as an artist is driven by the impetus to ‘make strange.’ Influenced by the aesthetic heritage of the Russian avant-garde, he utilizes art as a tool that allowes him to turn something ubiquitous into something peculiar, thus conjuring new perspectives on the part of the beholder.
This conceptual framework is equally helpful when considering the work of Maskull Lasserre. Having travelled to Afghanistan as an artist with the Canadian Forces, Lasserre has developed a body of work that plays with the ontology of objecthood. The artist engineered functioning musical devices drawing from the realms of military weaponry and traditional symphony orchestra. The visual form and the designed function of these objects is balanced between the divergent theatres of music and war. This body of work adopts objects of discipline, training and allegiance that belong to disparate discourses and contexts and brings them together into a singular and functioning form, thus yielding a dialogue between two otherwise dissociate fields. Through his artistic process, Lasserre explores how cultural mechanisms of harmony and violence can be coopted, conflated and spun.
For Lasserre, like for Simões, art making is a process of transformation that can act as an archetype for an idea or a thought process. Their respective practices not only share a kinship with other disciplines but also the fundamental desire to disengage from the artworld’s didactic pervasiveness to exercise art’s capacity to alter perception and action.
THEORY OF PROSE
On view until March 20th, 2021
NEW YORK, NY 10012