LOSS OF MEMORY, LOSS OF POWER, EXHIBITION TEXT
By André Escarameia Calha
Rooster Gallery is pleased to present Annesofie Sandal’s “Loss Of Memory, Loss Of Power.”
In her first solo exhibition in New York, Annesofie Sandal departs from her traditional Samarkand-like souk, full of rare objects, exotic animals and imaginary trading cries of traders and buyers alike that swarm from the four corners of the world, arriving at a city where these wonders can be found enclosed in high rise buildings.
Sandal has transformed Rooster’s underground floor into an idealized lost metropolis built of basic everyday materials such as used cardboard boxes coated with mirror film and cheap LED lights. This city nevertheless retains the exoticism of Sandal’s previous works, where traditional pagodas coexist with skyscrapers, crowned with billboard signs of imaginary cultural institutions.
One of those imaginary cultural institutions is Lee’s Museum (referencing the Leeum Museum in Seoul, and Sandal’s recent residence at Seoul), where one can intuitively dream about the wonders of contemporary art hidden inside. The apparent lack of human presence and the dramatic underwater effect, achieved through the reflection of light in the mirrored surfaces, enhances the mythological and utopic character of this city. The remains of a once thriving and exuberant culture provide the viewer with a 21st century articulation of the great lost city of Atlantis.
The highest of the city’s towers extends ‘through’ the ceiling, reaching Rooster’s ground floor. Sandal turns the ground level into a museological room full of diamond shaped works - imagined archaeological artifacts from this fictitious civilization. The connection of the ground and basement levels emphasizes ideas of interconnectivity between past, present and future.
Annesofie Sandal’s work deals with the exchange between man and nature in the production of cultural capital and materializes the sense of loss and exploitation often following exploration of new territory. Her work emerges from various cultural, religious or historic phenomena, reflecting on reality and questioning the consequences of human developments in terms of culture and coexistence, heritage and history. Through resembling already existing shapes and structures, Sandal shows how all actions, of all generations, affect humans, land, and resources.
“Loss Of Memory, Loss Of Power” could easily be an observatory deck for Sir Francis Bacon’s aspirations for humanity found in his incomplete novel, New Atlantis.