Enveloped.

September 30 - November 5, 2017

  • Andre Bradley

  • Boru O'Brien O’Connell

  • Jimena Sarno

Organized by Nicole Kaack.

Enveloped. Delays and interruptions are devices of time, moments that exist inside a temporary void. What develops when these suspensions soften and dissolve…and what happens when they do not? Taking as its subject the weight of latent knowledge, Enveloped concerns itself with the substance of the unknown.

Andre Bradley’s paintings and photographs move between privacy and intimacy, familiarity and alienation, developing ideas of interiority through the artist’s conception of himself as a ‘Dark Archive’ — an archive that is inaccessible to others. “No one knows the archival contents of a box from the outside…” In photos and memories drawn directly from Bradley’s life and childhood, these works rebuff access to relations and remembrances unknown. In Fingerprints (2014), the back of a  polaroid photograph, printed to scale, is marked with scratches, fingerprints, and small sweeps of black ink. Although these signs of wear suggest presence, their anonymity puts the viewer in darkness–unable to decipher, incapable of conjuring context. Bradley’s I Learned About Race (#2) (2017) lists judgment terms reminiscent of grade school alongside a black meticulous puddle of paint on the brink of obscuring an early portrait of the artist. The list itself becomes ambiguous in its entirety, perhaps related to the young boy’s portrait, and yet as a whole–somehow entirely removed.

In photography and sculpture, Boru O’Brien O’Connell engages faltering histories as they fall into obscurity and opacity. But I Must Explain… (2017) at first glance appears to be a blank print, a visual void. Yet faint gradations suggest the vague presence of an image that is soon discernible as text. Photographed through a layer of fog, this passage is excerpted from Cicero’s On the Balance of Good and Evil, a document from the original Lorem Ipsum, now better known as a typesetter text. Veiling the words in white, O’Brien O’Connell directly references the sabotage enacted on Lorem Ipsum, locating a parallel between visual imperceptibility and interpretive ambiguity. In a sculptural work, O’Brien O’Connell inscribes the internal surfaces of an archival box, recreating handwritten text from the diary of Vaslav Nijinsky — a Russian ballet dancer diagnosed with schizophrenia. This enigma of legibility manifests in the book object as an extension of Nijinsky, its inaccessibility ranging from the problem of deciphering handwritten forms, terms of use set by public institutions as a safeguard against digital free-for-all, to the dissociative effect time has on intimacy.

Jimena Sarno’s Elsewhere (2012) plays on constant deferral, looking toward a place that refuses to arrive because it cannot, limited to existence in language and abstraction. Looping through term completions provided by the Google Search browser, Sarno gestures to a looking that never finds material form.

These delays and interruptions are indicative of an unknown space that exists within the artist themselves, as well between the artist, the work, and the viewer. Precarity and ambiguity are tangled in a hope of revelation that holds us afloat in seemingly infinite territory. May we hang on to the permanence of the unknown and the uncertain, remaining adrift in constant anticipation. Perhaps there is nothing to see, and perhaps there is.

In conjunction with the exhibition ‘Enveloped’ organized by Nicole Kaack,Andre Ardibe Bradley will perform “Dark Archives” on the evening of October 21st at Small Editions. The performance will begin promptly at 8pm. More information about the performance can be found here: www.smalleditions.nyc/performance-dark-archives-by-andre-ardibe-bradley/

Andre Bradley's Fingerprints
  • enveloped andre bradley and boru o'brien o'connell