Various Artists: Total Recall

About the Exhibition

Total Recall features five large-scale sculptural commissions by New York-based artists Martin Basher, Zipora Fried, Sam Moyer, Matt Sheridan Smith, and Kevin Zucker. The exhibition frames each artist’s work in relation to the ephemeral nature of memory; each work is at times strange, multilayered, futuristic, and transformative.

The exhibition’s title, Total Recall, is borrowed from Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film, in which the protagonist discovers secretly implanted personal memories that form his reality; like the movie, the works in the exhibition are a compendium of what’s come before, in terms of the artists’ memories, experiences, and their artistic predecessors.

The works in Total Recall are united through their power to create a new experience for viewers outside of the everyday, toying with projected meanings and utilizing recognizable images and forms to create something new. Compelling in material presence, these sculptures both absorb and reflect ideas of the past, appropriating consumer detritus, found objects, and collective nostalgia.

This exhibition is curated by Jesse Hamerman.



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Martin Basher, Minimal Consumption/Reflective Sublime/Aspirational Sunset Art
Martin Basher’s three large-scale mirrored vitrines appear reflective and slightly translucent by day, revealing their contents only at night. Lit from within and stocked with both high-end and low-end consumer products, fabricated structures, and hand-made paintings, the cubes begin to mimic retail spaces where strange pairings hypothesize a future satisfied by consumer desires. Blending together ideas of retail display, advertising and modernism, Basher (b.1979, Wellington, New Zealand) creates work that questions the environmental and social implications of consumption in our times.

Zipora Fried, Armchair
Zipora Fried (b.1964, Haifa, Israel) has created a Surrealist domestic sculpture in which a once-cozy leather armchair is fractured by a maelstrom of baseball bats cascading from its no-longer functional seat. With this transformation, an object that commonly conjures feelings of nostalgia for a welcoming living room is jarringly altered. This conversion of relatable objects into the realm of the unfamiliar, a common thread in her work, is brought into an outdoor space for the first time with Armchair.

Sam Moyer, Birch Tide
Covering more than fifty tree trunks in the middle of MetroTech Center Commons, Sam Moyer’s work creates the illusion of a forest of birch trees, easily recognizable by their silvery bark. Upon closer inspection, this bark reveals itself to be an image of the North Sea transposed on aluminum planks. Thus, Moyer (b.1983, Chicago, IL) transplants nature from sea to land, layering species over species and allowing numerous realities to co-exist harmoniously. A multi-layered viewing experience, the work is revealed from some perspectives while from others it disappears completely.

Matt Sheridan Smith, Soft Futures (price has no memory)
Through the creation of four large inflatable sculptures representing commodities traded on the international futures market, Matt Sheridan Smith (b.1980, Red Bank, NJ) toys with the functions and limits of memory in the face of an endlessly fluctuating future. These soft monuments, which represent wool, coffee, wheat, and canola seed futures, give shape to the systems we use to value such goods, as well as our desire to predict, understand, and control the forces acting on commodities. These civic sculptures, filled with air, playfully invert notions of permanence and history in public sculpture.

Kevin Zucker, Amalgamated Sculpture
Kevin Zucker’s sculpture for MetroTech Center Commons is a large monochromatic assemblage of various shapes and objects including a classical human bust, a horse’s head, and iconic artworks such as Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column. Seemingly unrelated, the objects are actually search results for the term “sculpture” in user-posted digital models available in Google SketchUp. By borrowing from this virtual warehouse and drawing forms together into a single object, Zucker (b.1976, New York City, NY) creates a work that straddles the line between actual and fantasy, arriving at a democratic definition of the way we understand “sculpture.”