As an artist, Tavares Strachan has always been attracted to how physical space displacement changes our reality. He is concerned with a microcosmic approach to art making; an approach that forces us to re-examine our experiences, interactions, and involvements with all we have around us. From sculpting an invisible cube of heat, or re-creating cloud formations, to re-creating the light conditions of one part of the world in another, these propositions are engrossed with the presence of things physically missing or immediately distant. These apparently geological adjustments allude to a kind of poetry that is inherent in all spaces. What is physically present becomes dematerialized and through his process reappears as a collision between technology and nature.
The crux of all of these works has to do with the systems from which they are derived. Systems of expectation and survival are all tools that are framed by epistemological questioning of animate and inanimate experiences. The process of chemically transforming urine with the use of heat back to an original state as water barks at a fear for the loss of our own self-sustainability. An attempt to re-create a cloud using the city’s water supply is stained with a similar urgency of preservation. The aspect of preservation in parts of these works ultimately relates to my own shift from a sub-tropical Caribbean condition to my presence in the Northeastern United States. This shift constitutes a cross-cultural clash of conventional language and identity, but moreover, a biological hypersensitivity to a seemingly exotic environment. (Strachan, 2006)
Strachan’s exhibition at Pierogi will include two installations. In Gallery 1 will be Homeostatic Feedback Loop #1 (Natural Body Water). Over the course of one year Strachan collected his own urine, which he then transformed into purified drinking water using a distillation system he fabricated for this purpose. The installation will consist of a refrigerator case containing one year’s worth of Strachan’s purified water, the purification system, vials containing salt residue extracted from the urine, and a video projection showing a cycle of purification.
In Gallery 2 will be I can’t forget what I have forgotten, a 10-by-10 inch “cube” of heat. The 40-degree gallery space will be empty except for a pedestal, above which will rest a volume of warm air, invisible to the eye though not to the touch.