21 Giugno – 15 Settembre 2013
Moving downwards, Sara Clendening presents a relief-painting, made from cast resin lain flat on the wall. Entitled "Piece of Mind", it depicts quite literally a splattered brain, the violence of which barely nullified by its airbrushed finish. A virtuosic schemer, Clendening makes jerry- rigged sculptures like an inventor obsessed with visual puns. For her, the idea always comes first, at which point she puzzles together its constituent parts and occasional circuits. Thus implicitly, many of her works are kinetic or in some cases, are made so by dint of a hired performer. Because of their rigged nature, the possibility of a complete breakdown is always present during the exhibition life of these works, which is consistent with their wabi sabi attitude, an acceptance of incompleteness or imperfection. A case in point: for a group exhibition in 2011 Clendening made a sculpture entitled, Laissez-faire (rub down), which entailed a life-sized wet clay figure lying face-down on a masseuse bed. Having hired a professional masseuse to massage the sculpture during its exhibition's opening, finger tracks were left all over the clay body, permanently 'damaging' the sculpture as much as completing it. Not dissimilarly, for "Piece of Mind", Clendening hired a local street airbrushist to "complete" the piece, intimating that aside from the need for a specialist's virtuosity, that the indifferent contractor will annihilate the work's violence. Yet in the attempt, this jettisons such drama into borderline kitsch, and perforce, into stark irony. Like all of Clendening's works, there is a comedic patina here, which of course always has a dark underbelly. "The life of every individual is really always a tragedy, but gone through in detail, it has the character of a comedy.", wrote Arthur Schopenhauer. The details of one's mind, represented as a pile of shredded brain, is surely thus comedic; and as the work's title implies, such an image is invoked in its expression—though rarely represented in the mind, due to its verbal/mental repetition—often with the intent of malice. The serene color of the piece perhaps alludes to the peace that comes after such a catharsis...or from the disassembling of the brain itself.
– Max Maslansky