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In Apollo on Earth, the debut group exhibition at HILDE, disembodiment, presence, and abstraction draw a link between classical antiquity and a genderfluid future. In chorus, the sculptural work reflects a California Minimalist style, though installed in an encyclopedic, Getty Villa-esque manner. The center room is easy to navigate, like a sculpture garden which encourages methodical looking. A sensitive dialogue is amplified by the way the work interacts: Tamra Seal’s mirrored acrylic skate ramp, Nirvana (Reclining Nudes) (2017), bounces pink light onto Esther Ruiz’s paper-white sculpture, Volume III (2016), like a neon ghost dancing on a futuristic cenotaph.
The failure of the physical to properly express interiority is a source of tragic humor across the exhibition. In the front parlor, Eve Ackroyd’s Men of Knowledge (2017) is a series of gestural paintings inspired by Raphael’s School of Athens (1509-1511), a fresco that symbolizes the wisdom of classical antiquity. Ackroyd’s reimagining of these distinguished men disrobes them, rendering them more vulnerable than erotic. Further in the gallery, Jake Ziemann’s got to know that everyone falls (2017), two pastel teardrop forms that dangle down from an exposed beam, has a cartoon-like sense of impending doom.
The body is limiting—to transcend one’s body is to forget it exists. The work in Apollo on Earth engages queer aesthetics and classical modes of display to invite the audience to anticipate a world where the ideal form is neither male nor female but perhaps both and of its own conception.
Apollo on Earth runs from March 4 – April 15, 2017 at HILDE (4727 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016).