Next time, they’ll know it’s us … Is it braggadocio or a whispered secret? Should we be scared about the knowledge we are about to procure or excited that we are being let in on a secret? Or does this have nothing to do with us? Are the ‘they’ and the ‘us’ just obscure third parties? Am I a ‘they’ or an ‘us’?
The Company is pleased to present Next time, they’ll know it’s us, Eli Hansen’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Next time,… expands upon his previous show, Predicting the Present, where his blown glasses were polished to be conduits for seeing and foretelling. The exhibition runs from January 21 – February 26, 2011.
Hansen’s sculptures are assembled from a combination of materials sourced from the Pacific Northwest. A Northwest native, Hansen has been living on neighboring Vashon, a relatively isolated island accessible only by ferry, for the past 8 months.
The hand polished crystal glass, wood, bird beak, chemistry beakers, and found objects come together to blur the distinction between man-made, nature-made, and artist made. Hansen juxtaposes mass produced glass with unique hand blown glass to level the hierarchy between exceptional and ordinary. In the same way, he improves upon a beach-found walking stick by affixing a hand made cut crystal to its tip, and fastening found glass jars on to its arc.
The sculptures are a fusion between still life Vanitas/memento mori, simulated chemistry sets, and drug paraphernalia. A couple of colored glass objects lean toward each other longingly on a wood shelf, never to meet. A makeshift table of beakers and pumps are left abandoned, perhaps never used. Hansen’s work seeks to be a quiet reminder of impermanence and failure, falling short as “almost” but never achieved.
Elias Hansen (b. 1979). He is the recipient of the 2010 PONCHO Special Recognition Award from the Seattle Art Museum. Recent solo exhibitions include Maccarone, New York, The Company, Los Angeles and The Lawrimore Project, Seattle. With brother Oscar Tuazon, he has realized collaborative exhibitions at The Seattle Art Museum, Howard House Contemporary Art (Seattle), Western Bridge (Seattle), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, (NYC), Parc St. Leger Center of Contemporary Art (Pougues-les-Eaux, France), and The Palais de Tokyo, Paris.
Los Angeles Times, reviewed by Leah Ollman
ArtSlant, reviewed by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Art Agenda, reviewed by Joanna Fiduccia
View Elias Hansen Artist Page