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Port of Call

Lene DeMontaigu, Arden Asher-Taste, Sofie Kjørum-Austild Dec 1 - 17, 2023
New York

The port of call is an intermediate station where ships customarily stop for supplies, repairs, or transshipment of cargo. Along a long voyage, the port marks a point of reprieve, docked between an embarking impulse and an anticipated resolution. The project space exhibition acts as a similar intermediary space, hosting itinerant vessels as an essential pitstop along a route of capitalist exchange. The goods, so to speak, are a form of conceptual cargo, often manufactured with grooves ready-fit for forks and cranes. The good Dock Operator coordinates the loading dock in a manner that expedites meaning formation, in service of the larger exchange. 


Rather than ease the exchange of context vital to meaning formation, this exhibition places the viewer outside of the cargo-box. Sitting behind foggy wet glass, they are denied clarity into Sofie Kjørum-Austild’s subject. They are left off the line with Lene DeMontaigu’s pig, who Zoom calls itself in the days before its slaughter. They are left out of Arden Asher-Taste’s bundle, and left without any social media handles from which to source further context from her practice.


Just short of establishing a site of non-meaning, this exhibition exploits the idea of such a site in relation to specific meanings whose production is felt to need obscuring; creating, as D.A. Miller would describe, a gimmick. Duped at the port, we are left stranded at the loading dock, goods in tow.


– Gunner Dongieux

D.A. Miller, “Anal Rope,” 114–15, found via Sianne Ngai, “Theory of the Gimmick,” 45.

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