Elaine Cameron-Weir

rodolphe janssen
Rue de Livourne 35 & 32
September 13, 2014–October 25, 2014

View of “Elaine Cameron-Weir,” 2014.

Previously exhibited in the lobby of the Medusa Cement Company’s former headquarters as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Bellwether project, this new installation of ten of Elaine Cameron-Weir’s sculptures emphasizes a formal and conceptual slipperiness, trapping the viewer between sculpture and decoration, attention and deflection. Composed of rows of crisscrossing brass antennae drilled into marble, alabaster, sandstone, and soapstone bases, most works also have mounted, adjustable brass Monstera deliciosa leaves that retain imprints from the handling and installation process. Further contaminating any allegiance to elegance, the sculptures resemble overgrown houseplants, while the antennae signal interference against interpretation. As a display of untamed domesticity, these works betray their decorative function to hint at a subtle danger.

For the past three years, the artist has been working on a science-fiction-themed journal set across three time zones. Its protagonist is an aesthete, reminiscent of Jean Des Esseintes in Joris-Karl Huysmans’s rebours , who returns from a trip to the equator with a post-traumatic tremor. This character’s own diary entries feature in the chronicle, including flashbacks to a source of his trauma, and touch on themes ranging from telekinesis to Versace, homology to Victor Horta. Titling her sculptures with lines pilfered from this journal, such as we find her loitering in a twilight zone at the entrance (all works 2014) or the gorgon Medusa, possesses a solidifying telekinetic weapon mediated by the act of looking, a blind spot, a mystery that can’t be seen directly, Cameron-Weir exposes an anxiety triggered by looking and preys on our willingness to succumb to psychic invasions.

— Jo-ey Tang