Uri Aran, Geraniums, 2008. Courtesy of Rivington Arms.
Starlet coconuts, phantom birthdays, Baryshnikov, trinities, circles and a Dolphin—the seemingly haphazard connections put forth in Uri Aran’s work, engage a language of the absurd to illustrate social structures and diagram systems of value.
Sometimes narrative surfaces, as in the sculpture, Untitled (Bus) or Dogs and Cats, engage an emotional response-
but Aran shifts our attention midway from the story to the structure-from believing in the characters rendered, to coming to understand that we have just fallen in love with a fictive construction. In his video work (Untitled), repetition gradually reorients the focus from a stated truism to the power relationship between the camera, the subject and the viewer – leaving us with doubt about how belief and truth are manufactured. A trinity of monoprints recall a classical bust or pagan totem, but also function as a revelation of formal process, a visual search and a desire to identify meaning in the arbitrary. The drawing, Milk Drinking Contest, could be a frame from a film storyboard, utilizing the language of a utilitarian sketch for the purposes of narrative direction, but in fact, it’s a lonely actor asserting the rules of a game that does not exist.
Calling our attention to the nuances within a world of givens, Geraniums, comprised of these and other works, explores the humor, poetics and manipulations of everyday objects and popularly held beliefs.
Uri Aran graduated from Cooper Union in 2003, completed his B. Des at Bezalel Academy in 2004 and received his MFA from Columbia University in 2007. His work has been exhibited in the US and abroad, including shows at CRG Gallery, Mesler & Hug, GBE @ Passerby, AR / Contemporary and Ritter/Zamet. Aran lives and works in New York City. Geraniums is his first solo exhibition.