MATHEW CERLETTY: "Whiskers"
05.04.-11.05.2019 / Preview: 05.04.2019 / 19.00-21.00
Piecemeal memories of a dream, deep-seated triggers for reflection, or the new beginnings of a lone survivor? Whose past, present, and future is this? Whiskers of information.
Broccoli, a flower pot, a spotted lily, horse hooves, constituents of a murder, youth vengeance, and Santa's pipeline. Asymmetry adding to the specificity of each soliloquy. Is this show a cryptic message to fulfill Usonia or simply a suburban mom's nagging to-do list with a side of *insert preferred literary genre*?
Do you know how supermarket broccoli grows? Have you ever cared to ask. Captain, Gypsy, Everest, Imperial, Diplomat- varieties from the Northeastern United States where the crop didn't gain popularity until after World War II. Now you're dwarfed by a "Broccoli" sprig and subjected to frequency illusion. You'll see broccoli on the subway, in New Yorker cartoons, in the rotating menu at your next meal. Selective attention and confirmation bias. But you've never seen banality monumentalized as you will here.
Unless you've watched an American football game.
"Time to move on to a different subject." -Terry Gross (Fresh Air)
"The Assistant" is part of a murder, but who is the accomplice? Is this the crux of the story? Two crows perched suspiciously, or the viewer's false anthropomorphism? Lyndon B. Johnson named his beagles "His" & "Hers", but that was the 60s. To another character they are "Ketchup" and "Mustard". But are they a bad omen? And are they on the same house as the chimney?
The duplication is mimicked in "Goodbye Horses", but this pair belongs to one. We see only waves of white sand supporting unshod hooves. Is this National Geographic tugging our heartstrings for the Chincoteague ponies facing the perils of global warming? The final glimpse from a failed desert crossing? Or a beach rendezvous against a cotton candy sunset? It doesn't matter. It's a mirage; the horse and sand only exist in an alternate dimension. Embrace the smoke and mirrors.
Then we have a break in even the loosest pattern. A "Pink Tiger" lily rendered in crisp coloured pencil begging questions of authorship with its absurdly precise detail. To each their own memory; an allergy attack, an unrequited gift, a death, a frantic google search to avoid misunderstanding of obscure symbolic meanings. Was the flower meant for the empty pot? Another task on the ever-growing list. If I can keep this plant alive can I take responsibility for my life? Isn't that what the professionals say in movies? Alas, we have a plant and we have a pot, but we don't have a potted plant.
No theory will hold, but then again that was never the point.
Mathew Cerletty (b. 1980, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. This is his first solo exhibition with STANDARD (OSLO) after a two-person outing with Julia Rommel titled "Stay-at-Home Dad" in 2017. Solo exhibitions include: Karma, Office Baroque, Blum & Poe, Algus Greenspon, Team Gallery and Rivington Arms. Group exhibition include: "Flatlands", Whitney Museum of American Art; "Sputterances", Metro Pictures, organized by Sanya Kantarovsky, and "The Painter of Modern Life" curated by Bob Nickas, Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
Installation photography: Vegard Kleven