Demaster is comprised of a group of objects that examine the morphology and misappropriation of historical forms and architectural motifs. Using sources and materials already decontextualized from their origins — many times removed in some cases — the works avoid attempts at recuperation through gestures enacting further loss and fragmentation.
The primary materials in Entropy Rug, which covers an expanse of the gallery floor, are remnants of an Axminster carpet from Caesars Palace Casino in Las Vegas. The woven pattern is a distortion of Greco-Roman orders, flattened and displaced from dimensional architectural surfaces. This fragmentary material was reassembled in the studio, first using normal carpet seaming processes to recompose the motifs. Separately woven patches from scans of extracted designs within the carpet were then inserted in to matching patterns, disrupting further the source imagery, rendering hard edge seams and pre-existing contours into more ambiguous new transitions.
Head Fragment Anti-Column utilizes 3D scans of Greco-Roman sculptures from Archaic to Classical periods, where heads have been separated from torsos. Cast in flexible silicone and retaining signs of damage, they are realigned into an ‘anti-column’ stretching from ceiling to floor, producing tension on the architecture as opposed to columnar support, and distortion of the facial legibility of the preserved artefacts. Attached to the ceiling, Knotted Column also subverts its architectural ascription, tying itself in knots and terminating as such before reaching the floor. Drawing from actual column ornamentation in its casting, the softly pigmented silicone material and its rubbery extended sinews of form, shift association from the architectural to biomorphic.
Two works in Demaster have a starting point in the replication of a tile motif found on a Los Angeles building that draws on Frank Lloyd Wright's textile block from the Ennis House and other architectural designs. This so called “Mayan revivalist” strand of Lloyd Wright's work has been widely reinterpreted in Los Angeles and was used previously in work by Ferrer. 2250 East Washington Tile Remaster indexes the location of its source material ; from scans of the tile, it is machine carved in a material created by Ferrer, blended and marbleized using paraffin wax and collected plastic shopping bags, embodying digital, industrialised and traditional technique. Predicting the imminent demolition of the 2250 East Washington facade, the crafted art object co-exists as a potential new source for future high fidelity reproductions of the tile.
Model for Infinite City borrows the gesture of vertical to horizontal displacement of architectural motifs, as in the Caesars Palace carpet, repurposing the tile motif as a ready-made architectural plan. The ambiguous historical time period of this imagined site, ancient, modern, or futuristic, lends itself to the body of associations in Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House (from the Mesoamerican city of Uxmal where Lloyd Wright travelled just before designing Ennis House, to films like Blade Runner and others that subsequently used the house as a set) and attaches to the temporal, formal and material dissonance with which the objects in Demaster engage. Like 2250 East Washington Tile Remaster it presents also as a section of possible further multiplicity, bringing with it associated questions of mastery, power and the historically persistent relationship between degeneration and replica.
Cayetano Ferrer (b. 1981, Honolulu, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo exhibitions include Anamorphosis, Podium, Oslo, Norway (2018), Tropos, Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017), Interventions, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, USA (2015). His work has been in group shows at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter Oslo, the ICA Philadelphia, USA (2017), Hessel Museum of Art, Bard, NY, USA (2015), Swiss Institute, NY, USA (2014), and Made in LA, Hammer Museum, USA (2012). He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (BFA) and The University of Southern California, USA (MFA). He was awarded a 2015 Art & Technology Lab grant from Los Angeles County Museum of Art and in 2013 was an Artadia Awardee for visual art. His work is in the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, USA.