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“Affective Turns?”

Pepin Moore
5849 ½ W Sunset Boulevard
March 3, 2012–April 7, 2012

Erlea Maneros Zabala, “Exercises on Abstraction Series III,” 2011, India ink on offset paper, 36 x 24".

The difference between affect and effect, as well as their correct application, can often times trip a person up. For the record (however reductive): To effect is to cause a direct result, and to affect is to influence. This discrepancy, and to a greater degree the conjectural implications of affectation-at-large, are the subjects of the astute and musing “Affective Turns?” curated by the Los Angeles–based artist Phil Chang. The show has a necessarily loose thematic center, as each piece questions and refers back to the power of its own creative or political influence––realized or unrealized––without being pedagogic or overt. It’s an interesting parallel: As benefits a successful art practice, affect deals in the ineffable production of hypothetical meaning and experience.

The show features eleven artists working across video, photography, sculpture, and works on paper. Erika Vogt’s sculptures Instrument and Guide, both 2012, are made from wood and latex paint, among other materials. Both pieces are narrow and elongated, and are constructed as notional, nearly functioning objects––simultaneously awkward and elegant. Arthur Ou’s Untitled, 2012, is a nine-by-twelve-inch silver gelatin print of roughly pressed particleboard. The dark, cropped rectangle at the top right of the print has all the proportion of a nationalist flag turned clockwise on its side. Erlea Maneros Zabala’s 2011 “Exercises on Abstraction Series III,” each made with India ink on offset paper, are particularly remarkable inasmuch as the three pieces continually shift in appearance between wood grain, marble facade, and proteinous cross sections. True to form, this series, along with the other strong work in this show, operates in suggestion rather than confirmation.

Carmen Winant