Critics’ Picks

View of “Rachal Bradley: Interlocutor,” 2018.


Rachal Bradley

155 Vauxhall Street
January 25–March 18

Something is amiss in Rachal Bradley’s installation Interlocutor, 2018. The gallery is seemingly evacuated, lacking visible signs of Bradley’s intensive, yearlong research for the show. This conspicuous vacancy charges the space with a palpable energy, orienting our attention to less perceptible modes of transmission at work.

The situation at hand is strikingly indexed by the exhibition’s centerpiece: a white-walled projection booth/washing machine that features Mike Piscitelli’s iconic 9/11 photograph of skateboarder Jason Dill in front of the Twin Towers as they billow with smoke. A history of the present is condensed into this image, charged with millennial transformations both known and yet to be understood. New conditions require new remedies, which Bradley offers in no small measure. The gallery floor is encased in alabaster resin and infused with a medicinal tonic designed by the artist’s herbalist sister, to heal gallery staff of sundry institutional disorders. Elsewhere, ion generators are affixed to the gallery’s facade. Inconspicuous save for a trail of crimson cables, they emit polarized molecules valued for salutary effects.

Bradley’s work engages the infrastructure regulating systems of production and exchange. The artist’s use of alternative therapies is an intervention and inoculation that transposes public and private while imbuing the exhibition space with elements of magic. With these tactics, Bradley creates an arena for different values, formed through collaboration, which surreptitiously counteract the ills of our present day.