Magnan Projects is pleased to present Sean Slemon’s inaugural solo exhibition, and second exhibition in New York.
BLOCK 700 is a cast concrete block, likened to that of the flagstones that make up the sidewalks of the city. Put in place on the sidewalk, a reference is made to these flagstones themselves, and the infrastructures that are contained in the sidewalks. Potential sites for street trees are marked in the images embedded in the cast concrete block: a map of the block on which the gallery, Magnan Projects itself resides.
The exhibition leads from an ongoing investigation (and interrogation) into the natural infrastructure of New York, looking at policy in and around public access to what have become private, exclusive parts of the city life, and how man and nature are interacting together as a unit.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a room-sized installation of light made solid, entitled Crossed Light. The sculpture is a physical solid rendition of actual sunlight, as it streams through a window, made for the purpose of mapping light. However Slemon has chosen to make light do the impossible- coming from two directions at once, and convert the entity into a cantilevered self supporting structure- independent of it’s original source, and now standing as a moment in time. It is an impossible moment made real, with its original use removed. In doing so, the light is made into a physical commodity, transcending its ethereal original existence. The work undermines the original purpose of light-converting it into something that not only uses up space, instead of enhancing it, but it also allows us to access the form of light as it is created by the architecture we build up to supposedly control and divert it.
Block 700 isolates two areas of our natural world in New York-sunlight, and trees: areas that receive serious competition from the city itself. These areas of natural infrastructure cannot be physically owned within the structure of the city, yet inadvertently they have become two of the most sought after commodities in terms of real estate and quality of life, with people hijacking their benefits for the purpose of profit.
A series of conceptual chalk drawings are also presented. These drawings explore light and its physical and sculptural make-up, referring to how light is affected by construction in that the drawings themselves are made from Chalk line used in construction. The drawings further supplement the installation, Crossed Light
Sean was born in South Africa in 1978, and studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Slemon won the Sasol New Signatures Award in 2005, after which he moved to New York in 2005, and completed his Masters in Fine Arts at Pratt Institute in 2007. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. His work is currently featured in a South African group show “.ZA Giovane Arte Dal SudAfrica” at the Pallazzo delle Papesse, in Siena, Italy, until May 2008.