End of Day
The scene is as if the objects of the house have gone AWOL, littered across the floor like the detritus of a dream. Here is a doorstopper elongated like an odalisque; here, a pair of jeans that has sunk into the floor, or met a violent death, the taped outline all that remains; here, a seven-runged headboard propped against the wall like a most impractical ladder. A polka-dotted triangle table hides in the corner, as if shy; another seems to have drunk the liquor it might have once held and clattered to the floor, its legs comically spread. On view at Hesse Flatow, each of the sixteen objects Gordon Hall presents is the shadow or evolution of a recognizable one, somehow crimped, bent, or otherwise evacuated of human use—at least for the moment.
The titular work, END OF DAY (2021), takes its shape from a clothes valet, an object of domestic masculinity that imagines a man coming home from work at the end of a day, hanging up his suit jacket and tie, threading a watch through a designated holster, and laying down his shoes. But, studded with steel nails that sheathe the sculpture in a reptilian skin and possess it with a bristling sense of agency, the future the object imagines is not one of that same man rising the next morning to reassemble himself and head out the door. The exhibition’s title refers not to the act of reacquainting oneself with the objects one lives with and through at day’s end, but the after: What possibility do these objects hold? What potential?
Gordon Hall, Pants, 2021. Colored pencil and graphite on tracing vellum, 32 7/16 x 38 1⁄4 inches.