Bigger’s Not Better

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Published July 15, 2010

“I tend to be interested in things where the meaning is very explicit and confrontational… and a lot of the work I’m seeing at the moment is very direct, and intends to grab your attention,” says curator Neville Wakefield. Wakefield has often had PS1’s giant chambers at his disposal, but last nigh,t in the Lower East Side’s bedroom-intimate Half Gallery he opened a group show, “Normal Dimensions,” that looks at the mystery of objects, and the secret lives of things we tend to overlook daily.

“It was nice to change—to look into places where meaning lapses, and carries a sort of ambiguity, he says. “With this show I was interested in things where the attention is built into the object, or the absence of the object.” The show is understated, to say the least. At first glance, one might not even notice half the art in the room. British artist Susan Collis delicate crafts three screws to be drilled in the wall. The show also includes work by Carol Bove, Xaviera Simmons, and Wakefield’s girlfriend, Olympia Scarry, who contributed a six-foot-long white block made of fat, lye, water and saliva. “I wanted to work with soap because I find the material extremely alive and full of energy,” says Scarry. “The piece is partly about the purification process, and the ancient custom of making soap, of washing. Salvation through purification.”

SALIVA, 2010. COURTESY HALF GALLERY

“NORMAL DIMENSIONS” IS ON VIEW THROUGH AUGUST 13. HALF GALLERY IS LOCATED AT 208 FORSYTH STREET, NEW YORK.