Critics’ Picks

Emily Roysdon, Beyond the Will to Measure, 2014, wall-mounted ceramic, clock movements, acrylic, 56 2/3 x 10 1/2."

New York

Emily Roysdon

PARTICIPANT INC
253 East Houston Street Ground Floor
January 11–February 21, 2015

Handmade clocks and sundial calendars populate Emily Roysdon’s latest exhibition, where geometric shapes and popping colors produce a scene reminiscent of the 1980s Italian design group Memphis or of the magnetic pages of Colorforms collages. Roysdon’s fashioning of time renders the arrangement of objects in space a dramaturgical feat. An upside-down triangle motif is prominently cast in bold sculptural forms, the top line of which traces the identical crescent-like ridges of a rudimentary wave drawing. In Beyond the Will to Measure, 2014, a stretch of uniform royal-blue ceramic wave-triangles hang alongside one another, each sporting the hands of a clock—one thin white hour hand; one light-blue squiggly, extended minute hand. They soldier on, documenting the time spent in the gallery, fixing the time as image and rhythm in sync. For Roysdon, the transition from a wave to a line is not only a kind of visual flattening but a stilling of movement as well. The wave-triangle is repeated elsewhere: Mauve and blue clocks sit atop red metal stands, their wheels suggesting a curious mobility.

In a series of photograms, flat white photographic circles outlining the bulbous ends of butt plugs, are light and time-sensitive flashes of an object no longer there, but also there, occurring in different form. In Uncounted, a text poster accompanying the exhibition, Roysdon writes of “honoring a margin from a movement.” It is by honoring this fixed, stilled, and distilled image—not the movement itself but a margin from movement, from action—that the artist proposes a conception of “alive time,” which works against static/dynamic and form/content dualisms. It is here that time has the room to waver, to be a less disciplined form.