BEN SCHUMACHER at Hannah Hoffman Gallery / Los Angeles


APRIL 2 – MAY 21, 2016

Hannah Hoffman Gallery
1010 N Highland Avenue, Los Angeles 90038


Nam Son, Phở bò viên huởc bò viên không: bean-sprouts, a carrot, some pinkish-pale cubes of meat, some green flecks. Transitions between various hues of red and orange occur in the space of a bubble, with circles waving around circles like gaseous imagery. Concave world boiling up life under an ancient formula, scaled down to farcical effect. Runoff of accident-prone life gets lodged in the shallow pores lining the metrocosm, a stain organizing movements in turn. Some artist, somewhere, has the same shit caught in their teeth.

Limit as a mode of conveyance constantly outflanking itself. Like frogs’ tongues striking irregular buzz, uncertain limits are captive to the movements that traverse them. They get overcast with the contents of a primordial phở, liquid extension toward the absolutely mundane. Inane pile, stacking local and still-untranslatable matters, rubbing thin the fabric of reason’s excrescence. Everything gets subjected to abrupt shifts in scale, and every failed lesson is a subject participant of the resulting conflagration. The whole insensibly shapes its way into the new floor plan.

Belt sander earth, motor belt earth, proton pump earth.

 A farcical sense of plasticity concealing the misplaced hierarchy of another nature. It lines the pores of the metrocosm. A grease slick reflects Mussolini’s contour. Motor earth sheds layers: Chinatown, Lower East Side, Little Italy. It gratuitously breeds hierarchies, revolving, sundered and recombined. Basic life bleeding into a second nature, dissociated and feeding on discarded impulses. The abyssal plane is a conveyor belt pumping out toxic life-worlds. How could any unbroken lines traverse the distances, of kinds, states, coordinates and magnitudes? Things endure the primordial disconnect secreted by the mitochondrial mass. They leave ripples, a drop in the bucket. One does not simply adapt to the new scale, but adapts the functions of e.g. minimization and selection. There are mnemotechnic procedures which, with somewhat troubling irony, have timeless effects and stationary implementation. The occasional harmony helps things along. One makes a project out of testing what memory in motion is.

A sinkhole is brimming with liquid temporality. There are uncountable factors now that increasingly become of no account in the shift to the new scale. On the one hand, there’s the issue of what doesn’t translate from the local to the global; on the other, there’s what traverses global and local. As it turns out it’s not a question of giving or of having or of being, but a question of life happening where it isn’t. And at the same time it’s all actually right here, or it’s no different over there (that’s what’s really meant by “it’s the only one we’ve got”). What to do when the earth is in a hangover, staggered by its convergence with incontinent mobility? Anyway retrospection needs forgetting in the meantime, memory needs time to gestate unharassed. Only then does one come to realize that, it wasn’t about me and my stupid tastes, it was about the arcing subtle intimacy of time-layered matter, etc.

Proton pump earth. Conveyor belt earth. Motor earth.

- Luke Schumacher, 2016 

Ben Schumacher (b. 1985, Kitchener, Canada) lives and works in New York. Schumacher recently completed a residency with Rhizome who commissioned a major project that builds on his research on the history of undersea telecommunications infrastructures. His work has been included in Short Stories at SculptureCenter curated by Isla Leaver-Yap, New York, Love of Technology curated by Alex Gartenfeld at MOCA North Miami, FL, Coming to Reality curated by Fionn Meade at Futura, SVIT, in Prague, Art Post-Internet curated by Karen Archey at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, China and a solo show Rebirth of the Bathhouse curated by at The Musee d’art contemporain de Lyon, France curated by Caroline Soyez Petit Homme. Upcoming exhibitions include the 13th Fellbach Triennial of Small-Scale Sculpture curated by Susanne Gaensheimer, The Montreal Biennial curated by Phillippe Pirotte at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal.