alexander iezzi

Commemoration Of My Modifier

January 25 – February 1, 2016


Besides its use as a traditional material in sculpture, writing and encaustic painting, wax has long been used as a paradigmatic example within the history of philosophy to prove or disprove a set of epistemological claims. For Descartes, the example of wax as an extended, flexible and changeable material provided the 17th century rationalist with a reason for being skeptical of the senses. For Locke, the example of a wax slate was evoked to demonstrate that the human mind at birth is not pre-equipped with any innate or universally understood concept.

Wax has recently become a prominent material for the artist, both for personal use, and for creating sculptures of varying sizes. The industrial grade, petroleum-derived paraffin wax used in the exhibition Commemoration of My Modifier was purchased from a wholesaler in rudimentary slabs. The ten individual sheets, concisely cast in wax and installed in the exhibition space are the consequence of repeated, practiced attempts at melting and pouring a more industrially fabricated-looking (glass sheet-like) support.

Each of these individual wax sheets is displayed with four loosely fabricated pieces of cast bronze that emphasize traces of the manual in subtle and discrete ways. With their hand-made fittings buried into the walls of the exhibition space, each individual sculptural construction simultaneously mimics the typical gallery exhibition hang while providing a less negligible place for the working surface. Slight interferences to any of the individual wax sheets, owing to changes in temperature or to slight surface mishandling, surfaces which are incidentally encased with light studio-debris, are considered serendipitous events for the artist and do not implicitly change the holistic concepts associated within the body of work.

Along the disorienting boundary lines that exist between dreaming and wakefulness, the natural and the artificial, between the fragility of the wax sheets and the durability of the bronze hardware, lies the work. The artist’s particular method of exaggerating binaries assists in bringing to awareness, otherwise neglected attributes of objects and events that persistently contribute to our surroundings in silent and unnoticed ways.