4-Way, 2-Pack

Game of Telephone with Adler & Edmark and Earl Gravy

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In 4-Way, 2-Pack, Adler & Edmark (Christopher Adler and Alison Edmark) with Earl Gravy (Emma Kemp and Daniel Wroe) collaboratively turn an unoccupied commercial space into the game of telephone featuring humorous sculptures and amusing installations. All works are related by virtue of being each other’s source material. The empty property has been divided into seven rooms, cramming 23 exhibits.

Individually, design and craftsmanship appear to be the least of concern. Objects are understood merely as sorry surrogates for a myriad of ideas. Collectively, the works come together to form one big interesting family of misfits. Youthful vibes triumph. The energy is reminiscent of the jubilance once felt in Chinatown’s hay day. The implied narrative is that whatever goes. Possibilities are endless; only slightly hampered by the unintelligible command of material mastery.

Though the sum is more thrilling than its parts, a few stand out. 3D rendered floating rocks spin endlessly to Euro techno in Rock Video. The sheer absurdity of treating these “rock” stars as desirable objects of consumption hilariously perform and entertain — the whole three minutes flash by and you are ready for the next loop. By the TV monitor sits Tile Piece. 64 Lackluster tidy white tiles are mounted on a square MDF panel fitted with a drain and a PVC pipe. The juxtaposition of these rocks and tiles create a jaded showroom atmosphere, echoing the desolate state of affairs of the downtown building in which the exhibition is housed.

In another room, a pool ladder coated in safety vest orange hangs over the wall. Removed from the poolside, Ladder becomes a useless form without function. Yet, its uniform, smooth surface looks surprisingly handsome and sophisticated. A stark contrast is observed on the spackle-covered outer layer of So Seemingly Open/The Dream of an Ideal Paste. A narrow rectangular structure stands on the floor. It opens on one side, revealing the claustrophobia-inducing inner sanctuary with pastel mint walls. There is a lemon as its sole occupant. The presence of something deeply profound is almost felt, but the white blue lights from cheesy LED lamps quickly nullify such suspicion.

The fun continues to unfold as viewers travel from room to room while attempting to connect the dots between each work in a linear, successive manner. Instead of straightforward answers, however, the web of interconnectedness starts to take shape. Evolution is not the order. The relationship is messy, as all relationships are.

Adler & Edmark and Earl Gravy’s 4-Way, 2-Pack is on view at Unit M3, 440 South Broadway in Los Angeles. Contact Pair Shaped at info@pairshaped.org for a viewing appointment. It’s a GO-FIGURE.

All images by author for editorial purposes only.

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