Jesse Bercowetz has a huge mobile on display at The Happy Lion in Chinatown. His solo exhibition, which is the New York artist’s first on the West Coast runs until October 11th, flaunts several works, but the luminary piece– and the real reason for going– is the behemoth, nearly room-sized installation entitled The Pale Memory of Man. The roomy gallery space, usually noted for its high ceilings and the natural light that bounces off the white walls, is shown no mercy by The Pale Memory of Man. The over sized mixed media mobile looks like something that Tim Burton would create for one of his sets, and the ramshackle construction rivals that of a child’s fort. However, once the casual onlooker absorbs the grandiose scale of the piece, a more engrossed observation will reveal the many intriguing idiosyncrasies of this mysterious black contraption of scavenged wood, polystyrene, plaster, glass, electric fans, foam core, paint, and capriciously hanging photos and notes. For one thing, the shape of this particular mobile is less hanging-above-a-baby’s-bed and more springing violently from the framework of an oil derrick. Aside from the obvious, and timely, conversation about oil and energy consumption, the interesting juxtaposition for me is the implied permanence that the oil derrick represents in general, as compared with the seemingly intentional shoddiness of the construction of the piece.
Jesse Bercowetz is a graduate of the School of The Art Institute of Chicago. He was awarded a Jerome Fellowship and is a recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Grant. Selected exhibitions include: The Brooklyn Museum, NY, The Drawing Center, NY, White Columns, NY, PS1 / MoMA, NY, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin and Derek Eller Gallery, NY. This month he will present a new large-scale sculpture in the exhibition Next Wave At The Brooklyn Academy of Music, curated by Dan Cameron. There will be an installation of his collaborative work at Mass MoCA in 2009. Bercowetz lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.