23.09.2022 — 20.11.2022
23rd September – 20th November 2022
Open 12-6pm Thursday-Sunday
Tensors, Dallas-born artist Cudelice Brazelton IV’s first solo exhibition in the UK, forms a reactive environment through newly-commissioned sound, installation, painting and assemblage works.
‘Tensors’ refers at once to mathematical objects, anticipating an array of variations a vector might take, and muscles, stretching and tightening parts of our bodies. Discussing the exhibition and its spatial orientation, Brazelton returns to the idea of peripheral vision: beyond the eye’s capacity to sense objects and movement outside of the centre of the gaze, it is close to an embodied feeling of dormant threat. A haunting presence that does not leave the bodies of those who have lived in precarious environments.
Manipulating what he calls 'the undercurrents in the material', Brazelton reorganises signs, forms and objects commonly associated with either historical avant-gardes or industrial modernity to render their social and material links with subcultural sensibilities of punk, industrial labour processes and the Black experience evident. Abrade, a carbon steel plate, is a direct indicator of Brazelton’s experience working in Ohio's industrial foundries. Laser cut into an art deco reminiscent shape, it is informed by the retro-futurist outlines of Buddy Esquire's renowned hip hop flyers. Art Deco – a movement which responded to early twentieth-century advancements in aerodynamics, in turn kits out the promotion of a new kind of burgeoning urban culture in the late 70s Bronx. Powered with a small audio exciter magnetised to the back of the frame cutout, Abrade furnishes the show with an ambient soundtrack by Columbus-based musician ConQuest Tony Phillips, which samples Brazelton’s grinding recordings of the enormous factory magnet moving train couplers across his former workplace’s ceiling.
Readily available utility materials – a sewing machine pedal, tensioned rubber bands, clothesline – act as allegorical clues forming the artist’s grammar of abstraction. Echoing spatial diagrams or mechanical models, assemblages Bricoleur and Bricoleur II shape-shift into a formation of outlined figures in black as the exhibition diffuses linear signification into a rush of associations. Gridded to the wall and extending to the floor, the ‘bricoleurs’ are embedded in an alignment of frame-instrument that suggests automation, or movement. The ‘Singer’ sewing machine pedal activates a potentiometer, an ubiquitous electrical device used to dim lights, hurry stitching needles, reverb a voice onstage. Repurposed here, it collapses the apparent distinction between repetitive industrial labour and expressive, self-affirming activity.
Tensors seeks to decentre: the installation in relation to its surroundings; the subject who moves without peripheral vision; a cerebral pursuit of subject matter. Instead, it favours a heightened bodily sense of the immediate setting and its idiosyncrasies. Brazelton treats form not so much as a closed visual system but as part of lived reality, slipping in and out of these fields of play. Harnessing abstraction’s potential, Tensors sharpens awareness of the material environment; a more casual approach to untangling cultural and social fixations.
Curator Adomas Narkevičius
Cudelice Brazelton IV (b. Dallas, USA) lives and works in Frankfurt, and studied at Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule, Germany. Selected solo and duo exhibitions include 'A Curve of Many' at Murmurs, Los Angeles (2022), 'Starter Kit' Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2021) and 'Bronzed from Silver' Galerie Sans titre (2016), Paris (2021). Brazelton's exhibitions in 2020 include 'Recoil' with Dozie Kanu at International Waters, NYC; 'Violent Groom' at Galeria Wschód in Warsaw, Poland and HEAVY-CIRCUIT at Ola Bunker, Frankfurt. In 2019 Brazelton presented 'Prune' at Shoot The Lobster, NYC, with Nicholas Grafia. Recent group exhibitions include 'Beneath Tongues' at Swiss Institute, curated by Sable Elyse Smith (2022) and 'Vigil' at Galeria Wschód and Emmanuel Layr, Warsaw (2021). In 2020 the artist exhibited in 'Cuerpos' at Lodos Gallery, Mexico City, and 'In Practice; Another Echo' at Sculpture Centre, NYC.
Generously supported by Henry Moore Foundation.