At Monte Vista Projects, Jason Kunke’s romantic A Good Wall simultaneously travels back and forward in time and space, spanning the millennial distance of the Wild Wide West and Red Planet. The showdown consists of matte black fake neon signs, complete with cord and plug, which are fabricated entirely of steel, and somber, eerie Martian landscapes painted with what the artist calls quantum spin liquid paint — made by Kunke from the rare earth materials. The resulting installation is as much the last remaining frontier as it is a post-apocalyptic devastation.
Sea foam, teal green and dark reddish, coagulated blood brown scenes, littered with rocks and distant hills, echo the inhospitable, deadly dry features of Copiapó mountains accounted in Héctor Tobar’s Deep Down Dark. Except that on Mars, the unbearable heat is replaced by cool, sullen silence. Perhaps in the deep cave below the surface, a sign of life exists. The narrative-oriented landscapes willfully overshadow the existence of more playful, abstracted motifs present in other paintings.
Any glimmer of hope to find life, however, instantaneously becomes suspect as the weighty neon imposters suck what little light left available in the space. Their signature strike is a surface that resists the notion of sustainable, symbiotic, mutually beneficial ecosystem. Even so, Kunke’s new material and unorthodox fabrication choices are exciting. The limitation of these materials does not limit, but expands the horizon, across the space, into the ultimate, romance-filled frontier that one day may become our home.
Jason Kunke’s A Good Wall is on view at Monte Vista Projects until July 19, 2015. It’s a NEW-DISCOVERY.
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