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

253 East Houston Street Ground Floor
January 11–February 21

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.