Installation view of Kristen Cochran’s work. Photo: Kevin Todora

Installation view of Lucia Simek’s work. Photo: Kevin Todora


Dallas Contemporary, 2013

This two-person exhibition delves into the themes of impediment and apotropaic* gestures. In an attempt to liberate themselves from implied threats and obsessive ideas, the artists emphasize the very liminality of this threshold: the glass seeks the light to reflect its shadows, the marble leans towards the wall for support, weaponry placards long to be used by demonstrators or picketers, and the tranquilizing rhythmically folded curtain is hiding something on the other side.

The process of stacking, folding and rearranging summons the overriding interests of Cochran's and Simek’s art—control, order, and insufficiency— thus bridging their practices with the traditions of feminist art-making. Cochran’s process speaks to the traditions of live art and performance in that it is process-oriented, abstract and conceptually driven, while Simek's works cull from minimalist and conceptual aesthetics, existing in the mode of indexical marks that focus viewer’s attention on the ephemeral and unseen.

Both artists lean towards non-retinal pleasures. They emphasize the seductiveness of the written word involving the interplay of texts and objects. By building their own lexicon of meanings and sharpening it into a dialogue, Kristen Cochran and Lucia Simek convey a kind of sculptural calligraphy, which they obtain from encoding the conceptual meanings of sculpture making.

* apotropaic - from Greek: apotropaios = designed to avert evil