Organized by Alexander Ferrando
Nash Glynn’s eerie and affective portraits are an exercise in projection. Masculine, Possessive, Third Person (His) (2020), which depicts a figure with chest hair peeking out of a white button-up and glassy blue eyes, reads as the very manifestation of the pronoun, while If You Were a Cup (2021) fulfills its title, with two branches of blossoms set in a wine glass against a skittering horizon line. This line of mood is continued in Torbjørn Rødland’s simultaneously queasy and lovely photographs: a body contorted, feet placed atop head in Heart Like a Spine (2012-18) [pictured]; a line of ejaculate oozing toward the pocket of a quilted surface in A Single Drop (2018). Indeed, an entire universe of longing, projection, and perversion is contained in that minuscule word, “Wish,” the title of this group show at Metro Pictures.
A broad concept, many of these works take as their genesis a more concrete referent, and together forge an idiosyncratic definition of “Wish.” Freud’s famous definition of the word—every dream, he alleged in his coining of the term Wunscherfüllung, or “wish fulfillment,” is the culmination of a wish—comes to the fore, as does Jean Genet’s depiction of homosexual longing and voyeurism in the film Un chant d’amour (1950), which plays in the gallery.
Elliot Reed’s End-to-End Encrypted (Lot's Wife) (2020) may be the most visceral—and, in this past year, familiar—manifestation of such desire. With a medium line of “163.2 lbs of salt, one love song sang in private via video call, artist's clothes worn during video call,” Reed ceremoniously laid out atop a bed of salt the clothing he wore during a video call in which he sang a love song to his partners for the piece. The work draws both upon Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s candy piles, scaled to the weight of a loved one’s wasted body, as well as an older tradition of wishfulness—the Biblical Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt for turning back to glance at her ruined hometown, punished for a momentary weakness of desire.
Torbjørn Rødland, Heart Like a Spine (2012 - 2018). Silver gelatin print, 23 5/8 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles.