On Stellar Rays
213 Bowery Street
July 23 - February 14
Debo Eilers’s New York solo debut appears to herald the return of squat art—a home-brewed 1980s phenomenon that feels entirely appropriate to an economy, freshly ruined, that heralds the return of abandoned real estate. Partly cooked up in an unfurnished East Berlin apartment, Eilers’s exhibition “I’ve got $3,000 in my wallet” is an acid-colored mélange of digital prints and very-mixed-media assemblages that overwhelms the clean, well-lighted space of this gallery with all the dissonant charisma of a rave at a board meeting.
Occupying much of the upstairs gallery are four scaffoldlike sculptures titled Coolhaus (and subtitled green, orange, blue, and pink [all works 2008]). Built around large mounted photographs depicting a roomful of model furniture, each is backed by nursery-wallpaper compositions of pastel-neon animal silhouettes rendered in what looks like molten plastic. They sprawl through the room on mirror-finish flooring panels, revealing deeper layers of trashy effluvia the longer one looks. One incorporates a set of exuberantly customized luggage, another a rack hung with painted shirts.
Secreted behind and between these garish confections is a trio of small prints, all titled Screengrab. Frantic pileups of Googled photographic imagery, these make the art of collage newly fluid, overlapping related and seemingly unrelated shots in a game of po-mo connect-the-dots. One incorporates an image of an Isa Genzken sculpture, a superficially telling selection given the artist’s salvaged-and-cobbled-together aesthetic, but ultimately just one more component in a seemingly never-ending cascade. As a director of chaos, Eilers looks, as yet, unflappable.