Critics’ Picks

Elizabeth Orr, Applied Marketing Topic: Loss Leader, 2015, video.

Elizabeth Orr, Applied Marketing Topic: Loss Leader, 2015, video.

New York

Elizabeth Orr

Bodega
167 Rivington Street Lower Level East
April 4–May 3, 2015

The sun sets on a passive-solar conference room, on ergonomic pleather rolling chairs around a glossy table with a conference phone. Everyone’s excited in this video (Elizabeth Orr’s Applied Marketing Topic: Loss Leader [all works 2015]) to talk about a pricing strategy for which the piece and exhibition, Orr’s first solo, take their names. (A loss lead, like a nascent art practice, is something offered at a profit loss in hope of future gain.) Swiveling toward the camera, a corporately assertive acolyte played by the artist Mariana Valencia vaguely declares: “My understanding of loss lead is just in terms of marketing.” Another, played by Emma Hedditch, is eager to learn: “I am going to be interviewing them later this week about strategic meditation in the workplace.”

Such moribund exuberance already suggests the inanimate, and the piece’s installation as a sculpture, closely facing one wall and supported by a metal pole descending from the ceiling, cements its continuity with the abstractions on display. The show has nothing on the walls, and at the center of the gallery are two Formica structures, Ghost Posture and Projected Return, the former’s shape resembling a traffic arrow and the latter’s something like an airport carry-on size-test box. On these stand unframed panes of minimally varied tinted glass, evoking, perhaps, the Instagram filter array, or just how much the history of Minimalism and the pages of a Uline catalogue really have in common. Corporations are disseminators of aesthetics, too—the architectonic mishmash seems to say—and this is what their dreams look like.