An almost monstrously large motorized cylinder made of aluminum has made itself at home at Nathalie Karg Gallery, part of Dorian Gaudin’s new solo show, “Jettison Parkway.” It rolls, slowly but steadily, from one end of the gallery to the other. It pauses, reverses, and then repeats this movement indefinitely.
It is difficult not to anthropomorphize a sculpture like this. It looks like it is heading towards a particular goal, searching for something. The title, “Missing You,” suggests that Gaudin created it with precisely that intention. It's in the tireless repetition, the constant search (for something that may not even exist), that the cylinder appears most human. Machines are meant to have purpose: their work produces specific, predictable results. In contrast we are always moving, but a lot of the time it feels like we are trapped on the same circular loop as Gaudin’s machine, getting nowhere, unsure even of where it is we wanted to go.
There are other works by Gaudin on the walls, bent and twisted aluminum shapes in bright colors, but they seem unnecessary and go by largely unnoticed in the presence of “Missing You.” While that may have simply been poor curating, it does remind me of how easily it is to overlook the quiet, inert or slow amidst the rattling noise and speed of technology. It also reminds me that in movement, we often don’t notice what we are passing by.