Svetlana, New York
Double Slit Vomitory28 January – 04 March 2017
Svetlana is pleased to present Double Slit Vomitory, an exhibition by Emanuel Rossetti. This is Rossetti’s first exhibition in New York since 2010, when he showed at Burning Bridges, a Midtown Manhattan studio gallery at that time. Rossetti arrived in New York about two weeks ago, and has been working on the show since then.
In the center of the gallery Rossetti creates an incursion in the form of a large wooden platform. The structure lifts the floor by some eight or nine inches. It spills out around and through the two passages connecting the gallery’s two rooms. Its presence fractures the unified experience of the gallery’s otherwise antique wooden floor, layering another transition on to the exhibition—not so different from the transition felt when you enter the gallery building or climb the steep flight of stairs to access the apartment. Aside from this, the platform is also a kind of stage, or maybe a soapbox.
On the walls of the gallery, several photographic works in different forms expand a series recently presented by the artist at Karma International, his gallery in Zürich. In one of these images, Rossetti renders a digital drawing of a set of nontransitive dice into a photograph recently taken during a visit to the Dead Horse Bay. The bay is a former Brooklyn landfill that became something of a “dark tourism” attraction in recent years. Rossetti had already visited the site for previous projects, so this was something of a return. Other artists we know have also been drawn to it as a source of inspiration. I think that attracted Rossetti, too.
The show’s title of course references the famous physics experiment—updated several times since its first incarnation in the early 19th century—that demonstrates the foundational property of light and matter existing as both particles and waves simultaneously (until observed). It has been a foundational construct to the development of quantum mechanics. The duality of matter which the experiment lays bare resonates somehow with the experiential modality imposed on the space by Rossetti’s platform. Passing through either of the two portals it encompasses, visitors reach a kind of cul-de-sac in the gallery’s final chamber, filled with the reverberations of a sound work Rossetti has created for the show.
The platform was by far the most painstaking work to install in the space. In some ways, it marshals the rest of the works in a kind of connectivity, pushing the whole thing towards a sense of interdependence. The structure matches the carefully drawn digital version Rossetti made on his laptop before arriving in New York. Bringing it into the material world was a process that annoyed the neighbors and made John pretty anxious. When it was done, the work made me think about how I sometimes want to physically fight myself. But nobody can really do that.