The Accessible Pleasures of Excess / Hyperallergic

Sabina Ott, “a spectacle and nothing strange,” (2013), mirror, spray enamel, glitter, canvas, flashe, 31″ x 29″ x 12″ (all images courtesy the artist unless otherwise noted)

Sabina Ott, “a spectacle and nothing strange,” (2013), mirror, spray enamel, glitter, canvas, flashe, 31″ x 29″ x 12″ (all images courtesy the artist unless otherwise noted)

CHICAGO — The unwieldy synthetic materials of late capitalism’s throwaway culture are worth their weight in gold spray-painted styrofoam bricks. In her solo exhibition Ornament at the Riverside Arts Center’s Freeark Gallery, curated by Anne Harris, artist Sabina Ott shoves aside the confines of what constitutes acceptable, eco-friendly materiality and throws it all back onto the mirror. There is no “fairest of them all” here — only playfulness in the puffy, lumpy, misconstrued, not cute, and grotesquely delightful sculptural works that intersect with the contemporary Baroque, wherein aesthetic laws are complex and malleable. The surface layers give these ornaments their meanings by glossing over the façade of meaningfulness.

Embedded in these amorphous objects are household objects such as lamps, clocks, speakers, and many, many mirrors. A quietly ticking clock and perfectly circular mirrors are lodged into the hunk-a-chunk of hanging polystyrene that is “why is a pale white not paler than blue” (2012). Attached to the ceiling by a thick chain, the piece contains a single lightbulb shining at the bottom, leaving one to wonder how it would shatter if this non-chandelier came crashing down. The clock, of course, would still tick, since nothing can stop the passage of time.

Read the full story here: http://hyperallergic.com/99171/the-accessible-pleasures-of-excess/