los-angeles

View of “Bill Jenkins and Chadwick Rantanen,” 2015.

Bill Jenkins and Chadwick Rantanen

Michael Thibault

View of “Bill Jenkins and Chadwick Rantanen,” 2015.

An observatory for barely unpacked product and its packaging, this complex, interweaving installation of Chadwick Rantanen’s machines and Bill Jenkins’s illuminations begged for extended description; the exhibition’s subtle mechanical weirdness and play of light created a viewing situation that demanded methodical observation. Like much Conceptual assemblage, the show tugged at language while skirting easy characterization. Attempts to translate the installation into words create labored, angular poetry.

Hanging above a table sloping inward and split down its middle, a contraption made of black plastic, reflective Mylar, and clear plastic stretched over an irregular wooden armature angled streaks of sunlight from Michael Thibault’s skylight onto sundry cheap mechanical toys. Plastic globes split at their equatorial seams whirred and spun continuously, their colored LED lights

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2016 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.