Débora Delmar at Interface Gallery

Débora Delmar
[          ]

April 18 - May 31

Interface Gallery
486 49th Street, Oakland, CA
Exhibition view
Exhibition view

Exhibition view
Barrier (2), 2020, detail
Guarded View II, 2020. 26-inch diameter. SeeAll Half Dome Acrylic Security Mirrors.
Guarded View II, 2020. 26-inch diameter. SeeAll Half Dome Acrylic Security Mirrors.

1/2 Onement VI (Mayfair Businessman), 2020. 50 x 60 inches. Offcut fabrics sourced from Saville Row, thread, canvas.
Barrier (2), 2020. 170 inches x 56 inches. 20 x Lancaster Table & Seating 17" Round Black 3" Standard Height Column Table Base, cable ties. 
Notice, 8 x 10 inch, inkjet print on paper.

All images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Interface, Oakland

Interface Gallery is pleased to announce [          ], a solo exhibition by Débora Delmar. Delmar presents an installation that builds upon her exploration of corporate capitalism, globalization, and the circulation of goods and people. The title, [          ], cannot be spoken, as it indicates space—like a generic template in which to insert one’s name, just as corporate spaces serve as a kind of generic template.

In much of her work, Delmar has been investigating the “non-places” that evolve from corporate aesthetics and how the objects in such commercial spaces appeal to our desires and control our movement. The central work for this exhibition, entitled Barrier, consists of stacked, cast-iron table bases that cut across the center of the gallery, forcing the viewer to navigate the gallery space around the sculpture. The stacked table bases recall minimalist sculpture and, by extension, the minimalist aesthetics that are often used to create sanitized, controlled spaces of consumption. But Barrier also alludes to other kinds of barriers that dictate and often prevent circulation; what is allowed in or not; what or who circulates and why certain things and people might be restricted from circulating. Security mirrors placed throughout the gallery evoke the ways in which this system of circulation is policed through surveillance.

The table bases, which were produced in China and ordered online, are themselves products of the global circulation of goods. Barrier is essentially an assemblage of “ready-made” objects, put together within the gallery, which will ultimately be dismantled at the end of the exhibition. Delmar’s sculpture was inspired by the way restaurant workers stack tables at the end of a workday and the unseen labor of such spaces. 

The sole wall work is a recreation of Barnett Newman’s Onement VI, which sold at Sotheby’s for 43.8 million. Delmar’s version (which is half the size of the original) was produced with off-cut fabrics from suits that were custom made at Saville Row, where business suits originated and are still being custom made today. These high-end suits, and the men that wear them, represent the highest echelons of the global capitalist hierarchy. 
Interestingly, this show is opening during a time when we are facing a global pandemic, when the circulation of goods and people on which our global system relies has been virtually shut down. Even the art world is not immune, given its high demand for artists and their artworks to travel from one country to another—whether for exhibitions abroad or to attend the growing number of international art fairs. In fact, due to the impact of the coronavirus and current travel restrictions. Delmar, who is based in London, will not be able to attend the exhibition and the reception has been canceled

The exhibition will primarily be experienced in the way that images are circulated online, just as many exhibitions today circulate globally through online platforms, gallery websites, and social media. These platforms provide the exposure that museums and galleries rely on in the contemporary global economy, and especially now, due to the current situation. A sign written by the artist will be placed outside the gallery door for the few potential visitors that may stop by and the exhibition will be viewable through the windows.

A new essay by Danica Sachs will be presented in conjunction with this exhibition.