Marlborough is pleased to present Floating Chain (High-Res Toni), the third exhibition with the gallery of the ongoing collaboration of Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe.
The central component of the exhibition is a film entitled The Floating Chain. It takes the form a faux-ethnographic cut-up narrative illustrated through a series of props, environments, pictures and architectural models. The film’s aesthetic is inspired by the surrealistic banality of a breakfast cereal commercial, and the physical setting is the placeless and timeless location of the “set”. People exist solely in pictures on the wall, footage on monitors or voices from a stereo. Scenes, divided into discrete chapters, play within the frame of a television or film projection located within the “set”. Each chapter is told through a disembodied voiceover that illustrates a series of disparate groups and settings. The cumulative result is a collage portrait of a parallel science fiction culture where the cohesive whole is left in obscurity.
The exhibition spirals out from the film screening room into a series of architectural interiors that represent the mise-en-scene of different social groups and historical time periods. This is a continuation of the artists’ practice of using the room as a vehicle for an ethno-fictional display of the remnants of the built world. It includes an inner-city swap meet, a 1960’s hotel lounge, and a site of domestic fantasy among other recognizable but non-specific liminal spaces such as hallways and waiting rooms.
A through-line of the show is the appropriation of The Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model For Total Urbanization by the 1960’s-70’s Italian architectural collective known as Superstudio. A system of rectilinear forms comprised of square blocks, Continuous Monument was articulated through a series of theoretical renderings of a superstructure imagined as a single contiguous environment spanning the entire planet. The notion is a comical critique of the reductive ambitions of modernism, techno-utopianism and uniform culture. For this exhibition Freeman and Lowe have taken Superstudio’s square grid pattern as a basis for a system of rectilinear sculptures that pierce through the existing architecture of the gallery, imposing extreme rational uniformity onto the character of each room. In several cases, the interior of the rectilinear forms will be clad in mirrors offering kaleidoscopic apertures into adjacent rooms and creating a skewed continuity to the overall installation.