A Space Where Identity Politics Give Way to Queer Minimalism / Hyperallergic

Aay Preston-Myint, detail of “Untitled (At Night, I Think of U)” (2013), neon lights, plastic laminate, vinyl tile, plaster, paint, cake, human hair, gelatin, metallic pigments, fragrance, nail polish, dimensions variable

What happened to the glitter, the queer ideals, the mirror that looks back at the viewer? In Aay Preston-Myint’s artwork, politically charged objects are emptied of their significance. In his solo exhibition (At Night, I Think of You), now on view at Threewalls gallery, sculpture, sound and photographic pieces become abstracted, minimalist works, harkening back to older forms. The artist creates a timeless space where utopian desires take a back seat to basic aesthetic experiences, where we find the true moment of the death of the simulacrum in the life of today’s networked girl/grrrrll/gurl: when the mirror she looks into doesn’t look back and her image becomes her peers looking at her rather than her ability to fall in love with the image of herself. The mirror loses its objecthood, becoming an empty signifier of what it once was, or could have been. And this, my friends, is a relief.

Preston-Myint’s new work operates in an in-between space of destitution, empty arousal, and a past, present, and future queerness. It’s lodged in a time before the AIDS crisis, identity politics, and the HRC-fueled misbelief that marriage equality is the same as actual equality. The exhibition is born from pure physicality, desire and lack thereof — a time before the fragmentation of the mirror and the subject who gazed into it, longing to see. This formalist aesthetic brings a refreshing taste to an overly saturated palate.

Read the full review on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/71614/a-space-where-identity-politics-give-way-to-queer-minimalism/