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Marta Chilindron: Temporal Systems

Gregg Perkins

Marta Chilindron, 16 Trapezoids, 2015. Acrylic and hinges, 119 x 305 x 284.5 cm. Photo: Oriol Tarridas
Marta Chilindron: Temporal Systems
NOVEMBER 19, 2015–FEBRUARY 5, 2016

Temporal Systems presents a suite of Marta Chilindron’s sculptural works that evoke a large swath of twentieth-century abstraction and Conceptual art, nodding, along the way, to early Russian Constructivist sculptural works, aspects of the phenomenological aims of the Light and Space movement, Minimalism’s insistence on industrial materials, and the general notion that the viewer is inherently a performer in an exhibition.

Along these lines, a central aspect of Chilindron’s works is that they can be changed and repositioned by viewers during an exhibition. For example, 16 Trapezoids (2015), is composed of teal acrylic panels and unfolds on the floor in the center of the main gallery, resembling a waist-high, jagged wave. But upon further inspecting the work, it becomes clear that it could be also folded down, to a form resembling a set of shallow steps. The transparency of the panels also adds a compositional element constantly in flux. As viewers move around 16 Trapezoids, certain planes become more or less solid, given their distance from the viewer; those farther away—and behind several other panes—become more solid, and those nearer to the viewer begin to disappear in their transparency. Similarly, Black Cube 12 (2015) can both resemble an opaque cube when fully collapsed, but also a fence of varying lengths and shifting opacities. Both works produce a fading-in and fading-out effect of the form as viewers move around the piece; it is this effect that, taken along with the infinite mutability of these forms, is at the center of the exhibition.

Other wall and pedestal mounted works are less able to be modified by the viewer. Sliding Circle (2015), for example, is mounted to the wall in its most spread-out configuration, but one could imagine it also furled up into a blue-and-frosted-white, neatly shaded circular form. Similarly, Black Isosceles Triangle (2013)—a tightly wound eight-foot band of vinyl—is positioned atop a pedestal with only its point extending away from the form, but it is harder to imagine a viewer in this context manipulating the work to more interesting ends.

Ultimately, what is most compelling about Chilindron’s mode of abstraction is that each work is inherently a moving compositional target through time. From this perspective, the work also echoes fellow South American artist Hélio Oiticica’s Parangolés series (1964–79) of wearable artworks. These works were also constructed of industrial materials, were meant to have no ideal composition, and would be in constant change through time. Similarly, with Chilindron’s sculptures, each work is in fact many, given the context and composition. The role of the viewer here becomes that of performer, not only by requiring them to walk around the works to encounter all aspects of the compositions, but also by asking them to physically determine the current size, shape, and orientation of the sculptural works themselves.