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Seth Kelly

Derek Eller Gallery
615 West 27th Street, 212-206-6411
January 12 - February 10, 2007
Reception: Friday, January 12, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Seth Kelly’s installation begins with a photo emulsion wall drawing, formed by chemicals, light and time, based on the opening within Duchamp’s Etant Donne and provides a theatrical backdrop or architectural mirror revealing an entry point to the room or a point of entry his sculpture of the Venera Lander. The sculpture explores the incongruous sociopolitical meanings of the probe as a marker of human achievement and promise for the future; a monument to Cold War ferocity; a symbol of the extended hand of the human race touching and recording images from the surface of Venus, and of the mythological divine and ideal of beauty. The sculpture acts as a responder to these complex meanings, which, for Kelly, are compounded by the fact that the lander remains on that planet today, existing as a ruin. The drawings that flank the sculpture add dimension to the lander’s story. Their celestial entities, completely severed from their original placements, interact and orbit one another while evading each other’s gravitational forces. The attempt is not to make a “complete whole”, instead, the rubric is that matter is a system of processes – and so is cognition – of a given state of political reality and its relationship to the past (theories of causality). The aesthetic crystallization of this process is not unlike Ernst’s sea metaphors, or an endless data stream. The flow of this stream originates in antiquity with the action of looking through or excavating the past with a forward looking technology: they are in orbit with one another, through space and time, partly as a material reality, and partly as a locus for fantasy projection.
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