LOS ANGELES — Existential unease fills the air between the partitions of Unknot, a solo exhibition of work by Anja Salonen at in lieu, her first on the gallery. Salonen’s picture selections cull up reminiscences of Surrealist work of their absurdity, but their colours are all spectacle, dripping with the form of flooded, unnatural lighting typical of minimalist theater. Maybe it’s the dramatic lighting that brings the movies of David Lynch to thoughts, or perhaps it’s the emotionally vacant cow located behind a seemingly floating girl in Salonen’s “Hysteria” (2022), who’s upon second look really arched face-up throughout a farmer’s knee.
In “Time Lick in Purple,” a mysterious hand swings a timepiece backwards and forwards in entrance of a determine’s clean stare, a cliché depiction of hypnosis, whereas in “Rat Temple Milk” one other set of mysterious human palms cup collectively to carry milk from a big bowl the place rats dine in multitude (each 2022). Mirrored within the milk is the presumed face of the determine, but whereas the palms are human, the face is that of a rat. In each artworks, we get a form of fusion of cinematic eeriness and painterly thriller — as if Salonen has created some form of suspense-driven soft-horror movie wherein the portray’s characters are actors and all we get are these movie stills to see.
Close by “Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 1” and “Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 2” (each 2022) depict one bright-orange-and-green mouse every. At four-by-four inches, the work are fairly small and the mice they comprise fill their frames, giving the impression that they, just like the lab mice they reference, are trapped. One other portray, “Partial Metamorphosis (Pre Tail-Absorption)” (2022), additionally seems like an outline of a science experiment. Utilizing the identical bright-orange-and-green lighting, two palms cup collectively to carry a small quantity of water wherein a number of tadpoles swim. The scene may as simply be harmless, a toddler’s science experiment maybe, because it could possibly be nefarious. Both method, I’m nervous for these tadpoles.
In “Emily and Emma; Machine Studying” (2022), a topic actually doubles in shock as she contemplates a robotic head she holds in her palms. Whereas it takes a second (and maybe a press launch) to infer the scene, the sense of identification disaster comes throughout instantly. Just like the work of Surrealists Magritte or Dali or the movies of Peter Greenaway, Salonen’s work level to a location wherein actuality is slippery, ill-defined — a dream or place of play. The distinction, nonetheless, is that in 2022, Salonen’s world doesn’t appear so unusual or surreal. Within the close to future, holding a robotic head in a single’s palms could be thought-about mundane.
Unknot continues at in lieu (1206 Maple Avenue, Suite 903, Bendix Constructing, Downtown, Los Angeles) by July 2. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.