Marlborough is pleased to present Stray Light Grey, a major exhibition in the ongoing collaboration of Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe.
Articulated through the construction of multiple architectural settings, Stray Light Grey marks a unification of many of the thematic threads from previous projects into a sprawling sequence of interiors. Through a series of fictional and historical narratives the artists have composed an expansive, alternate world that reimagines culture through subjects such as rogue science, psychedelic drugs, mega-conventions and hypertrophic urbanism. A warren of corridors, chambers and passageways is configured into a spatial collage that gives a fragmented vision of a parallel metropolis. As if the visitor has entered a bizarro New York City simulated in a foreign country where the details have been perverted in translation. The overall conglomeration is a system of architecture that forms a sculpture in its totality, a concept of the city as a clumsy monument whose symbolic identity is never fully materialized.
The period room as museological form is traditionally used as a time capsule device. The preservation of the materialist surroundings of a certain bygone era so as to recreate a time-locked simulation of life as it was. A banal method of time travel wherein the spectator could imagine themselves in the rooms of say colonial New England, seventeenth century France or beatnik Greenwich Village.
In Stray Light Grey, Freeman and Lowe take the notion of the period room as a basis for the merger of fragments of industrial/urban history with loose discursive narrative threads of their own invention. The rooms of specific social groups or historical time periods are interlocked and mixed into a spatio-temporal blender. These include an Art Deco museum, an O Track Betting parlor, a contemporary art gallery, an archive/ library of an eccentric aristocrat and a hybridized retail environment that includes, among other things, a cake shop and a plastic surgery clinic.
Within the context of these so-called period rooms, a series of artworks is superimposed that both dislodge the expected identity of the rooms and generate a series of leitmotifs that other a web of connections between the seemingly disparate environments.
Stray Light Grey is an artwork of layered density that draws from the disjunctive quality of the architectural sprawl, the cinematic mosaic of a Robert Altman picture and the cognitive estrangement of a science fiction novel. Stray Light Grey is a direct evolution of the artists’ previous installations: Bright White Underground, 2010, Country Club, Los Angeles, CA; Black Acid Co-op, 2009, Deitch Projects, New York, NY; Hello Meth Lab In The Sun, 2008, commissioned by Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX.