Michael Genovese It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humility
Michael Genovese’s work operates as a reflection both in a conceptual context and in a literal sense. This exhibition addresses a range of subjects, from Art History to American Culture, pomposity to personal debt. The artist holds up a mirror in order to understand his identity and his role in relation to these topics while challenging the viewer to preform the same exercise. How we define ourselves, our choice of expression, the ways we are influenced by what we read and experience – these acts create cause for reflection, and require a measure of humility in doing so.
Genovese’s text engravings on high-polished aluminum panels are simultaneously illegible and painstakingly detailed. By turning his disregarded mail (unpaid bills, debt collector threats, legal documents) into sacred objects, he aims to convey the significance of burden. Also among this collection of engravings is a panel cataloging commentary gathered from the public like “Tippy-toe on the pooty side” or “Our dreams don’t fit on your ballot.” Another engraving plucks from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man: “You ache with the need to convince yourself that you do exist in the real world.” Two chrome-plated pieces present the myth of Narcissus – one in Spanish, the other in French.
A pentaptych of paintings, executed in a style similar to the engravings, rewrites selections from a manifesto on Futurism. “Today, let tomorrow go” is the obscured message scrawled in a monochromatic black painting. In each incarnation of the two-dimensional work a reflection is forced, but an obstacle exists because the analysis is difficult, and at times simply impossible. The overall presentation of this work is an appropriation of theories from Art and the Power of Placement, as well as a nod to the era of formal gallery settings.
Three large-scale sculptures continue the conversation of obstacle and experience. A burnt porch covered in resin, detached from its home, looks preserved like a giant chunk of amber that contains the DNA of a tragic history. A bizarre construction using ordinary pipes and chains is elevated through its nickel-plated treatment. Yellow metal rails are manipulated into a circular formation, grounded with cement footings molded from traffic cones. The motive of these sculptural works in also an interactive one – an invitation to flex your agility on a course constructed to humiliate.
DatesJune 13 - July 25, 2009
Opening ReceptionSaturday, June 13, 6-9pm
Location3100 NW 7 Avenue
Miami, FL 33127
All images: It’s Not The Heat, It’s The Humility, 2009. Photography by Norman Lendzion