Oscar Tuazon’s exhibition ‘Sex’ opens Jonathan Viner’s temporary space in Hoxton Square. An elegant tension within and between the works in this exhibition questions the artist’s exis- tence within a private space, a studio space and ultimately a gallery space. These works create a personal history within an otherwise foreign environment. While the works embody charac- teristics of Tuazon’s relationship with formal architecture and his abstraction of it, they address the power of lifestyle and in- habitation over architecture. Here the works influence the archi- tecture, bringing to light a different functionality to sculpture.
With four new sculptural works and two photographs, the exhibi- tion circulates around the artist’s own bed, specifically measured and constructed for his flat in Paris, where he lived with it from 2007–2010. Made out of wooden geometric components that curve and slant against each other to form a hold around a mat- tress, Bed stretches itself into the middle of the exhibition space and sits like a relic.
The exhibition is a dynamic preservation of a time in Tuazon’s life, with sculptural punctuations that mark his concerns with formal architecture and decor. Bed serves many purposes. It is a tailor-made room. When floorboards are placed over the mat- tress it becomes a stage and when removed it becomes a bed. Encapsulating the awake and the asleep, when transplanted into the exhibition space Bed becomes a funerary artifact that stands.
The other sculptures in the exhibition Circle One and Wet Magic from 2010 continue to show the artist’s interest in furniture and the domestic space. Circle One is a bent, seemingly squashed, iron sculpture with a metal top with a hole cut in the middle, resembling a broken table. Though the materials are perceived to be strong, here in a reoccurring theme, the artist shows us where the material ultimately fails. The work is a useless, collapsing structure, drawing lines between furniture, architecture and art. Like a fragment from a larger structure, Wet Magic is taken from the outline of a corner of a room.With the mirror as its base one questions its function- a shower, or an exotic dancers’ booth? Taking from the post and beam construction from Tuazon’s shows at ICA and Kunsthalle Bern, this piece’s internal structure becomes its outer and vice versa, displaying the possibilities of two formal architectural structures becoming one sculpture. Both these sculptures supposedly function as furniture but fail.
The abstract photographs, entitled Smoke 1 and Smoke 2 are nighttime landscapes from La Push Washington, the most north- west point of America. Capturing the forest, sea and mountains the natural becomes industrialized through its re-production as a photograph on aluminum. They are bent and sometimes slightly damaged, resembling folded, crumpled paper. These edges mirror the edges of Bed and the corners of Circle One and Wet Magic, drawing together the differences in materiality reinforcingTuazon’spracticeof “sculpturalbricolage”.‡
† Eileen Myles, ‘The Bed I Slept In’
I Can’t See, Catalogue, 2010
‡ Kunsthalle Bern, 2010