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Sam Anderson’s The Great Assumption is rife with curiously dissimilar figurines and objects—a model airplane, a row of miniature containers atop a conveyor belt, and a diminutive caricature of a waitress make up a motley collection of sculptures molded in white paper mache. Elsewhere, a miniature plastic fairy statuette rests in front of a film about oranges, and another sits beside a swaying feather sculpture affixed to wires and small electronics. The exhibition is a study in absurdist arrangements, a curio of sorts that pique Anderson’s fancy and ultimate interest in the notion of transition and its broad undertones; the airplane tarmac, the rotating baggage conveyor belt, even the gates of heaven figure into the artist’s musings on movement and passageway. Anderson’s trajectory, however, is straightforward in some instances and circuitous in others.
While the artist looks to movement as a thematic, most of her works are stationary models. This lends an eerie tone to many pieces, which, like the jet replica Privacy (all works 2018), appear suspended in time. The tedium of delay likewise surfaces in Business Professional (all works 2018), a clay model of a man in the throes of waiting, his hands buried in his pockets in a gesture of rootedness. Lingering at these sites, the artist hones in on moments of monotony that disrupt the ever-moving flow of capitalist time. Here, the act of waiting is one that resists productivity, and quite literally slows us down. Other works encompass the theme with regard to progress, evolution, and transcendence. Waitress (a) and Waitress (b), for example, portray two female figurines in waist aprons, which seem to allude to the transitory exchanges that define this profession.
For Anderson, the conditions of transition are not always overt or even concrete. Rather, they surround us in architectural and intangible spaces both evident and covert. She slows down at these sites, observing the altered perception and odd minutiae that surfaces when one reflects more deeply on the mutability of their surroundings.
Sam Anderson: The Great Assumption runs February 17–April 8, 2018 at JOAN (1206 S. Maple Avenue, Suite 715, Los Angeles, California 90015).