A state of release cannot amount to much without the hardship that precedes it, a logic that underpins Andrea Longacre-White’s New Sculptures 2016-17. The fringe benefit of this logic was a rare chance to rebuild anew in a manner that may not have otherwise existed, and it was in the precious double-bind of its predicament, analogous to our country’s state, that Longacre-White realized this exhibition, her second with Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.
A year ago Longacre-White received a letter from her sister, an envelope filled with glitter. Her sister’s gesture was both aggressive and poetic, a gift and a curse. Last year, she died after a long struggle with mental-illness. On the wall Longacre-White mounted curled vessels consisting of dead wood, attached to which are their 3D-printed copies. The bark was subjected to controlled burns by city officials, thus limiting potential future fire damage. Operating between a cyborgian version of regrowth and an urn, they singularly offer piles of glitter.
Tools explicitly plied for submission, domination and connection comprise the majority of Longacre-White’s new sculptures. They include equestrian ropes and halters (some bearing signs of heavy use), BDSM suspension rings, hooks, locks, chains, carabiners, and cable. Each are rooted in two forms of bondage: one dedicated to the taming and/or breaking of horses, the tradition of harmonizing animal drive with humans—while the other in BDSM fetish. In the latter, Longacre-White references Shibari, a Japanese tradition of rope bondage, literally translating as “decoratively tie.” In Shibari one can experience rapture in submission, whose connotations Longacre-White combines with hints of grief, visible in her selective inclusion of lilies, some in silk or silicon, while others 3D printed by the artist. Commonly adorning funerals, some are seen as closed buds, intimating a frozen potential. This is further complicated by the occasional sighting of a luxury bag charm or two in certain works. Gravitas and melodrama are two sides of the same coin—and the coin itself being the inescapable crick that feelings are for consumption.
Andrea Longacre-White (1980, Radnor, PA, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) has been the focus of solo exhibitions that include New Sculptures 2016-17, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2017), Andrea Longacre-White, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York (2014), Ceiling, Bellwether Projects, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio (2014), The Existing Term Has Become Inadequate, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles (2012), Pad Scans, West Street Gallery, New York (2011), and Dark Current, Rental Gallery, New York (2010). She participated in the ICP Triennial, International Centre for Photography, New York (2013) and has contributed to group exhibitions at venues such as Capital Gallery, San Francisco (2016), Brand New Gallery, Milan (2013), Bischoff Weiss, London (2012), and the New Museum, New York (2010).