Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Caterpillar Logic II

Peter Buggenhout’s two monolith sculptures appear in the white cube of Gladstone Gallery like remnants of ruins. The masses stand several feet higher than its viewers and are covered in a thick layer of black dust like some readymade or artifact untouched for decades.It is difficult to discern what is underneath. One of the sculptures takes up several feet towards the center of the gallery while the other leans against the wall taking up a comparable amount of space. Layers of worn sheet metal, corrugated metal, rods, bars and other construction supports are put together seemingly haphazardly into these abstract forms. Walking around the mass at the center of the gallery what initially appeared to be a pile of detritus is revealed to be constructed and hollow; it's opening featuring one large component, possibly the corner of an enclosure. Its pair also features the effect of a partial room torn in half and supported just foot or two above the ground by the scraps of metal that create the sculpture. The exhibition’s title Caterpillar Logic II is the first semblance of intention to their design but it is unclear how this relates. This could be a hint to the possible origin of the pieces of these constructions, seemingly discarded from our modern era, and the aura of entropy that resonates from the works.

Peter Buggenhout, Caterpillar Logic II
The two installations, titled The Blind leading the Blind #66 and The Blind leading the Blind #67, are the latest in Bubbenhout’s series of the same name, which began in 2008. The title's reference to Pieter Brugel’s genre painting inserts another ambiguous commentary that is either didactic or apathetic. The whole of Bubbenhout’s work seems to anchor along this question of ambiguity. The works are not quite identifiable; they seem to reject any origin.

Peter Buggenhout, Caterpillar Logic II
As the viewer spends time with the work, identifies its parts and attempts to build a logic it seems that the work might be a sort of Smithsonian Non-Site but any affirmation is rejected to the viewer. The only information a viewer can ascertain is that they are viewing some construction of debris, of the unwanted, that it’s coming from somewhere and that it has been forming for a while 

1 comment:

  1. Peter Buggenhout’s show Caterpillar Logic II at the Gladstone Gallery was the perfect space for his enormous installations. The galleries high-industrialized ceilings and minimalist design of the gallery worked with the industrial materials, garbage and the use of old buildings in the piece. I do like the fact that the artist’s intention is taking raw materials and transforming them into something else.

    Your description and interpretation of the installation is great. The only section of the review I find unnecessary to speak about is the relationship of the exhibition title to the work itself.