Christian Tedeschi’s “Molasses Happens Rather Quickly” at Western Project
It comes from a dark place, this sculpture; not as though its making was sad or depressing, but as though light doesn’t get to where it was created – the place is too deep. This dark object is inscrutable, not horrible, and I’m more inspired to wonder than to fear. This ur-thing I am looking at is Molasses Happens Rather Quickly, a sculpture by Christian Tedeschi that is in a group show at Western Project. Cliff Benjamin has just told me that, “Christian has more like this – one is ten feet tall and another is, like, knee high… He builds sheds for them in his backyard!” The idea of this is unsettling and powerful, like housing Jungian archetypes in your garden.
Molasses… is made with black resin and yellow plastic brush bristles. The resin is massed at the center (a center of gravity, as well as of origin?), and it drips to the floor, where the black liquid puddles; these drips lead me to believe the sculpture is self-supporting. The skinny plastic bristles are melted together at their tips, and, repeated, these unions form lovely arcs across and around the shiny resin mass; the effect is of a hazy, frenetic halo. To the touch, this aureole is soft, the way I hope a halo would be.
I recognize that color is a function of materials here. Where yellow plastic meets black resin, shadowed greens and oranges appear; these new colors are aqueous, like the resin, and appear to flow.
I imagine this sculpture being borne of heat, and of resolve, and maybe despair. I imagine also that its foundry was in hell – not in the Christian Hell, which is devoted to failure and condemnation – rather in the hell of the soul, an internal space of trial, fear, fury and, ultimately, of possibilities.
The exhibition Big Mess is on view at Western Project through May 4, 2013. http://www.western-project.com/2013/03/14/big-mess-margaret-griffith-kyla-hansen-christian-tedeschi/#1
I notice now, two hours later, that I focused on the darkness of Tedeschi’s sculpture without mentioning its humor. Humor is there. Go see.