“If the soul of the commodity which Marx occasionally mentions in jest existed, it would be the most empathetic ever encountered in the realm of souls, for it would have to see in everyone the buyer in whose hand and house it wants to nestle.” — Walter Benjamin
Room E-10 27 @ Center is pleased to present a two-person exhibition by Mindy Rose Schwartz and Nina Wiesnagrotzki.
As the works by Mindy and Nina began to take shape for their Berlin exhibition, I was reminded of the title of a poem by Emily Dickinson: “Hope” is the thing with feathers. The title illustrates the poet’s impressive ability to make unusual speculative associations by rendering the feeling of “hope” both inanimate and animal. The lexical confusion this provokes points to a flickering ontology that simultaneously reflects and attempts to bridge the gap between our deep-rooted alienation from nature. This disjuncture is echoed by our estranged relationship to our bodies, thoughts, and feelings, which some commentators have argued are now the principal sites of production under the post-Fordist biopolitical regime. Similarly, the work of both artists shares in this Dickinsonian linguistic slippage, whereby sculptures and objects are imbued with, and sometimes haunted by, animal and anthropomorphic forms. In the work of Nina, whether it’s film or installation, we see this expressed in a strange intersection of technology and mythology, where historically the animal and nature have a particular representational form. In the work of Mindy we see this in her exploration of the commodity form through her sculptural exploration of the objects and techniques of vernacular American decor.
Also common in both artists work—and equally a product of the post-Fordist regime—is a certain allusion to contemporary aesthetic judgments, such as those mapped out by Sianne Nagi in her book Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany Cute Interesting. They are what Nagi refers to as the system’s most socially binding processes, whether it is affective labour (Zany), circulation of information (Interesting), or consumption of commodities (Cute). For their exhibition at Room E-10 27 @ Center both artists will negotiate and play with these essentially hierarchal aesthetic categories with a presentation of drawings and sculptures.
— Thomas Butler