Part 1: ‘Rocks’
Christopher Aque creates a landscape in which he has turned black and white photos of male models into ‘Rocks’. These ‘Rocks’ are Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bags filled with poured concrete. The petrified space within the bags give new texture to the familiar images of this type of male flesh. The ‘Rocks’ are placed with distance between them, casually dividing the surface of the gallery floor.
Part 2: Walls
There are two urinal dividers in the space. They jut out from the wall, awkwardly as if somehow resisting gravity and their own weight. They are very still and a bit proud looking, out of the bathroom and in this context.
There is a framed image Aque has placed behind one of these urinal dividers. I notice that when a gallery goer gets close to it, her body is concealed while her head remains visible. It appears to float like a live replacement for the beheaded men on the shopping bag’s surfaces. In this way Aque repeats the action of the cropping used in the Abercrombie & Fitch photos and performs it momentarily on the bodies in the gallery.
I step behind the divider to look at the framed image, another photo of a nude male’s middle and in this moment my middle falls out of view, covered by the urinal wall.
The other urinal divider works to divide the room from its own corner. No floating heads can appear behind it, only a small bit of air and the seam of two walls.
Part 3: Plaques
There are large black plaques that line the walls of the gallery, like canvases turned to shiny and smooth stone. On the black surfaces there is black text. The text seems to reference what might be cropped. It mentions the architecture of the space, the ceiling, the walls and the body, the heart. The words are lyrical and make me think about the absence of the eyes within the show. I consider how it is of course hard to find when there are no faces and probably quite difficult to meet, when you are peeing in a urinal.
Part 4: Stillness and shifting
In the gallery the landscape feels fixed and yet there is a hint that something is shifting behind Aque’s many flat surfaces. Perhaps due to the words that line the walls, black words on black surface hinting to some hidden part, unseen. Perhaps the people moving in and out from behind the dividers. As I watch, a woman’s body goes from being revealed, to partially concealed and then revealed again. The bags, once soft, moved under the weight of wet concrete. The images of the men moving slightly before being frozen, Abercrombie’s awkward Pompeii sigh.
All images courtesy PEREGRINEPROGRAM. Homonyms (for Misfits and Outcasts) is up through November 4 at PEREGRINEPROGRAM, 3311 W Carroll Avenue, #119. More information can be found at www.peregrineprogram.com