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Spirit of the Beehive

Brett Amory, Gerald x Cannon, Gregory Rick

June 2 - 18

New York

“Someone to whom I recently showed my glass beehive, its movement like the main gear wheel of a clock– someone who saw the constant agitation of honeycomb, the mysterious maddened commotion of the nurse bees over the nests, the teeming bridges and stairways of wax, the invading spirals of the queen, the endlessly varied and repetitive labors of the swarm, the relentless yet ineffectual toil, the fevered comings and goings, the call to sleep always ignored, undermining the next day’s work, the final repose of death in a place that tolerates neither sickness nor tombs– someone who observed these things, after the initial astonishment had passed, quickly looked away, with an expression of indescribable sadness and horror.” Spirit of the Beehive, 1973 


Not a static experience but something one might come in and out of, jolted intermittently by what is being obfuscated and what is being laid plain, even as those two notions bleed into one another. 

There is a great hum which emerges from the pores. Here, titular surreality pulses: pulling, prodding, (g)ripping landscape, establishing a crooked rhythmic foothold that is both intricate and deliberate in its distortion.


Distortion itself gets wielded as an act of faith, a sharp tool for testimony. It yields a peculiar cohabitation– nostalgia shacking up and congealing with otherworldliness, like the way dreams move. Little transactions of self in daily life can be found on their head, flipped there by dripping protrusion and temporal infrastructure. Tone and shape seep with urgency, as helpless to ordinary osmosis as water in soil. 

Gestures abound–and warnings– in rivulets. 


Celebrations are foreboding. Eyes become emptier, become warped. As soon as impressions are made, they are questioned. A gesture of care or a touch of light might intersect with deceit. Youthful curiosity draws you in, often leading up to something monstrous and exquisite. 

A possession begins to take hold and radiate centrifugally…


From an unsettled place comes illumination, or perhaps even a revelation. Patterns unseen become ulterior passageways. They stir a sense of belonging hopelessly to time, wrapped up with a longing for time to belong to us better, as a tangible and flat shape (oh how that mangles things!) With subtle tenacity, vexed and triumphant motion holds up our recollection to the light and reminds us it’s the strongest thing we have left with which to elucidate a frustrated condition. 


Brett Amory’s recent work is concerned with the complex landscape of AI and the way its ever-developing cognition looms over us phantasmically. Though informed by vast, powerful networks and patterns of information, it is just as imperfect and strange as the humanity it is wrought from. Amory uses surreal and grotesque imitation of things we recognize–nonsensical groups of letters, forms in sharp and surprising colors– to create an unintelligible but familiar pantomime, opening up a dialogue concerning an uncertain technological future and its impacts on how we work and think. 


Gerald Cannon uses texture and movement of shape to suggest the mechanism of the mind as a relationship between conjurer and conjured. Things we can recognise take root as nostalgic fragments, buckling under the rhythm time beats upon each in perpetuity like water lapping at stone until an eeriness remains, like an echo. We start to take the things we do notice as an omen and the things that are being kept from us as a relief. 


Gregory Rick weaves the space of time together with vibrancy and twisted limbs, jumbled against a vast cacophony of cityscape and reaching to the past to relinquish slippery elucidation of the present. Bodies that we can pick out are storied and heavy, while bodies that invent themselves as such are larger than life and garish. Faces twist, features shift like power, and the absurdity of where we come from and where we are going threatens to pop out.  


– Esmé Naumes-Givens

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