Audra Wolowiec + Sreshta Rit Premnath
March 16 – April 22, 2018
Present Company, Brooklyn

Over the past decade, Wolowiec and Premnath have crossed over seemingly parallel interdisciplinary practices transforming the nuances of sociopolitical ephemera and perception into intricate and poetic visual iconography, sculptures, and installations. The phonetics of language and the residue of culture rooted in the artists’ works embody personal and shared histories aimed at reframing the viewers’ awareness of sense and site.

In recent works, Audra Wolowiec’s sculptural sound installations and experimental language scores have focused on the gap, space, or breath in between speech as generators of meaning. Her newest work, language from the center / language from the edge, unravels the linguistic implications of deconstructing prose from a self-help manual titled, Power Talk. This multi-channel, site-responsive sound installation alters the command vocalizations promoted in the book by removing consonants and consequently decentralizing (or destabilizing) the nature of authoritative speech.

In one work at Present Co., Sreshta Rit Premnath alters the access and interpretation of the contents of a book. The artist chooses not to excise material, but obscure what can be seen. In the compressed form of the photograph, a hand holds a long extinct marine fossil hovering over the pages of a catalog. Most of the view of the printed image of a Shiva Linga, an abstract representation of the deity, is blocked. The tactile and fossilized rock—both immediate and ancient—does not displace but builds upon the symbolism of what is beneath. Elsewhere in the gallery, other actual objects—a military boot and a cone of thread—become signs in states of formation. Around these concrete objects and photographic indexes, Premnath installs sculptural punctuation as a way of delimiting the signs and symbols in his work and the dislocated walls upon which they rest.

hedge suitably mirrors the way Audra Wolowiec and Sreshta Rit Premnath collaboratively engage within the gallery by mediating succinct interventions, subtle architectural shifts, and overlapping visual refrains. As a collection of articulations, developed from the artists’ prolonged engagement with their natural and built environments, the exhibition proposes a series of social and conceptual boundaries slowly inching to and from each other.

Images courtesy of Present Company. Photo: Ethan Browning