Straight Line Labyrinth
Ian Bruner, Jordan Dawson. James Hadley, Karl Momen
March 31, 2019
Final Hot Desert
Tree of Utah, Wendover
Final Hot Desert is pleased to present Straight Line Labyrinth, a temporary group exhibition installed in the middle of prehistoric Lake Bonneville near the base of the Tree of Utah. The exhibition features the sculptural works of Ian Bruner and James Hadley with video pieces by Jordan Dawson, all in the shadow of Karl Momen's monumental sculpture.
Straight Line Labyrinth is a multimedia exploration of the mixed themes and realities of time, art, superstition, and natural environment that entagle themselves in the bed of an ancient lake where a monumental chrysacolla and anhydros copper silicate-clad concrete tree grows. The exhibition consists of sculptures and videos and can be experienced virtually. Where essential life-bearing currents once fed an ecosystem of mammoths, sloths, and bison, the straight line of a highway - a current of semitrucks transporting virtually-available products across the western United States - stretches into the mirage of the horizon and dissipates into the heavens.
An Iranian-born Swedish sculptor and former communist portrait painter drives through an endless plane stretched between the desolate and ancient walls of prehistoric Lake Bonneville, each mile rebounding on itself, mirages echoing off of each other and extending the straight highway line into the fractal heavens of dry heat. His mind hums along to “a hymn to our universe, whose glory and dimension is beyond all myth and imagination.” The waves of antimemory fluids flood and recede. Truth is left behind as the currents of mixed realities intertwine among the serendipitous salt flats. Season’s fold into geology’s creases and the concrete leaves of the tree of life settle in silt.
“And it came to pass after I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy… And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 8:10,19-20)
“And now, in that rise of masonry to which his eyes had been so irresistibly drawn, there appeared the outline of a titanic arch not unlike that which he thought he had glimpsed so long ago in that cave within a cave, on the far, unreal surface of the three-dimensional earth.” (H.P. Lovecraft, Through the Gates of the Silver Key)
Now oftentimes mistaken for a poorly disguised cell service tower or an homage to Mormon scripture, Momen’s Tree of Utah marks a rift between nature, technology, spirit, and time that emits sufficient energy to cause highway hazards and vehement online sightseeing reviews. Salt, mud, bones, street signs, refuse, and Amazon Prime trailers are the holy site’s most frequent visitors. Disparate realities of devotion to ritual and practice converge in moiré patterns of confusion.
a narrative sown in lines of computational algorithms, leaks out of the mail slot.
flattening out, like the restless cleaner crushing down their Amazon Fulfillment packaging,crumbling the boxes into perfect ciphers, rituals of consumption. segmented.
a flushing out, a ringing dry, a stripping away, and what is left? a perfect transparency. the bliss of exposure.
Amazon gazes, looking me in the subconscious face, that stoic lizard face, its naked nervous system exposed like unearthed roots.
The loss of the self (and with it the other) and the accumulation of history (or what seems like the accumulation of the self, or simulacrums of the self as represented by the lacks, and all those brown boxes neatly labeled as a representation of history, a circle, an augmented history, that results in the loss of biography and autobiography, and is replaced with, A linked web, a seed bank or a feeding trough?
the accumulation of data as history as the self?
who does Amazon think i am? and the agony of excess, result in the emancipation of life and leaves only a kinetic energy, a motion-subject continually propelled forward.
never far past the surface, a heavily electric peripheral. consumptive days,
there is no self left, but rather, the result of a willing schism, a splitting into two, one: the motion-subject (the kinetic and spiritless energy); two: the nausea of the present and with it the congealed lump of lacks manifested both with and without consent. A coercion of memory and taste, a meshing of viscera and algorithm.
are you there? waking to find i have fallen asleep against a wrinkled fabric surface, the topography of which now simulated in impressions upon my face. it is a Tuesday night, the Tuesday night of the eternal workweek.