Jesse Malmed — Occasional Objects
November 8 - 23, 2014
Lease Agreement, Baltimore
“In order to make a one-liner, one must first invent the universe.”
Somewhere in the imaginary space between conceptual sculpture and novelty gag items, Malmed’s occasional objects are a little life-like: they’re funny and smart and dumb and sometimes sad and do as much revealing as concealing. Past iterations have included a ciabatta floating over a bust of Beethoven (Chuck Berry Breakfast), a microphone hanging out a fifth story window almost at the ground projecting the din of the city (Word on the Street) and an unread bootleg course reader for Joseph Grigely’s Exhibition Prosthetics class used as a small plinth (Unread Bootleg Course Reader for Joseph Grigely’s Exhibition Prosthetics Class). The installations are manic in their presentation, like a junk shop of floating signifiers. There are always new works and ones that move from one place to the next, reconfigured and recontextualized. Like scanning the home-construction/DIY bookshelf at the used hardware store and coming upon David Robbins or a receipt for something you haven’t bought yet, the exhibition checklist functions as a table of contentment, a take-away with fraught enjambments, an all-word Where’s Waldo for the meaning set. The references bounce between poetry and contemporary art and clichés and music and an object oriented ontology in which the thing has just learned that no-thing lasts forever. Sometimes they are poetry, mostly they are contemporary art, a few are clichés, almost none are music and almost everything understands its presence is fleeting.