Gabriel Kuri, .)(., 2013, Dumpster, powder-coated metal plate, stones, 7' 6 1/2“ x 17' 5/8” x 5' 5".

Gabriel Kuri, .)(., 2013, Dumpster, powder-coated metal plate, stones, 7' 6 1/2“ x 17' 5/8” x 5' 5".

Gabriel Kuri

Gabriel Kuri, .)(., 2013, Dumpster, powder-coated metal plate, stones, 7' 6 1/2“ x 17' 5/8” x 5' 5".

The new home of the Franco Noero gallery is a former factory located in an area that once housed mostly light industry and is now being converted into a cultural hub. The work of Gabriel Kuri, while not site-specific, is completely in tune with the gallery’s architecture. This was apparent in, for example, Punto y línea en paisaje vertical (Point and Line in Vertical Landscape; all works 2013), which established a natural correspondence with the large square windows across from it. This massive wall drawing is a blowup of pages from a school notebook, with two boulders affixed to it, as if defying gravity; seen from a certain distance, they could appear to be two punctuation marks. A blue sweater lay on one stone, offering testimony of a human presence through absence. Punto y línea en el altiplano (Point and Line on the Plateau) is an installation made up of a long strip of gray linoleum, lifted off the floor by a sequence of metal bases of varying heights, arranged to form the outline of a range of hills. Resting on the linoleum strip are enlarged reproductions of computer-chip ID cards. Like many works in the show, this piece alludes to both a synthesized landscape and to the market economy, expressed in graphic form. Alignment (April 2013) consists of a group of various juxtaposed and superimposed elements (a panel coupled with necklaces; a dusty old model of the city of Brussels; two gigantic matches that are actually usable, one of them with a burned tip; some reinforcing rods of the type used for woodworking, with the bar codes still attached; three cylindrical black ashtrays of the sort found in offices; and two bins with light-blue garbage bags). Once again, these made reference to the organizational charts used in the economic sciences.

Separated by a freestanding wall from these works was an impressive and breathtaking sculpture, whose curious title is .)(. This graphic sign visually expresses the work’s essence, a balance between antithetical forces. The piece consists of a Dumpster precariously tilted up on one end; a sheet of metal painted gray and bent into a rounded L shape stands next to it. One might have imagined that the two elements were leaning against each other and thereby holding each other up, but in fact the two objects don’t touch. They are kept in place by the weight of two large stones corresponding to the two dots in the work’s title/symbol, while the container and sheet are obviously expressions of the two parentheses.

Broken Line 1 also exemplified Kuri’s quirky way of thinking. A physical representation of a line meandering through three dimensions, it is made of painted iron, on top of which, along its entire length, the artist has set a series of spikes of the type normally used to keep away pigeons. On the floor all around this line, the artist had scattered euro coins, both copper and brass, evoking the splatter that pigeons inevitably leave around the spots where they roost—a witty shift from the inorganic to the organic and from value to filth. The exhibition concluded with a work installed in a small room that, in the future, will be used to house research materials; here, Inverted Lightbox 08 became a display for heterogeneous objects ranging from condoms to the small plastic strips typically used to maintain the shape of collars in new shirts.

Marco Tagliafierro

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.