1 October - 11 November 2017

Anthony Lepore, Beatriz Olabarrieta, Belén, Daniel Mendel-Black, Emily Marchand, Kim Garcia, Ted Chung, Won Ju Lim

They could have let it fall but at some point they decided to stop it. The angle could hardly be corrected, so there it is; the crooked tower, in a sort of everlasting suspension, partially leaning, partially falling, caught for the posterity in between the forces that articulate its prominent identity. A tragicomical phenomenon of structural tensions generated by the unusual combination of the weight of a heavy mass of Romanesque architecture and the inadequacy of the soft land of Pisa. A formal monument to the incongruity of a baroque emotive. A hyper-iconic self-ironic embodiment of structural inner struggle.

As a human narrative, the Leaning Tower of Pisa can be analogous to the “struggle with self” as a recurrent archetypal motif. We identify this archetype at play when the characters in a narrative must contend with personal internal feelings that often contradict each other or conflict with what seems most logically appropriate. It is a paradigm humans have presumably generated through our collective adaptive need to make sense of our existence and the world around us in situations when we experience unresolvable internal struggles and inconsistencies. As a model for the contradiction and existential paradox that inhabits our iconography, text, and speech-based narratives, this archetype of the internal struggle can arguably be found as a formal phenomenon; the articulation of physical and structural parameters.

Inspired by the ideas above and instigated by field observations of our closest contemporary art world surroundings, this exhibition gathers a group of works that display structural inner tensions that could potentially be understood as embodiments of this “struggle with self”. Pieces that are articulated around some sort of formal unresolvable and ongoing conflict or tension. A struggle that gives core identity to the work becoming a sub-theme that operates on a deeply shared psychological level and may be to a certain degree foreign, although complementary, to the conscious circumstances of the production of each piece and/or the intentions of the artists.

These works display a sort of a repertoire of “conflicted formalisms”. They openly challenge the idea of formal uniformity, continuity and certainty, displaying all at once affirmative, negative and contradictory dimensions. A query that may be worth considering when encountering these pieces is questioning how the repertoire of individual gestures, actions, and responses resonates within the convoluted times we live in – times when the subjects and the world seem to be in a structural crisis – trying to “maintaining composure” in an ongoing struggle for coherency and continuity while navigating through slippery trues, structural challenges, emotional tensions, and rational inconsistencies.

DXIX Projects, 519 Santa Clara Ave, Venice, California 90291

Ted Chung and Kim Garcia are UC San Diego Department of Visual Arts Alumni. For more about their work, please visit:

Ted Chung

Kim Garcia

Image Credit:
Ted Chung, Untitled, 2017
Image is courtesy of Artist Ted Chung and DXIX Projects, Venice.

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