past exhibition
Tanya Brodsky
First there was. And then there was.
6.8.2014























Tanya Brodsky
First there was. And then there was.
Opening reception Sunday, June 8, 5-9 pm


Elephant is pleased to announce First there was. And then there was, an exhibition of new works by Tanya Brodsky. This installation presents a space full of imminent problems. Things are (maybe) about to slide off, overflow, disintegrate, cause bodily harm if not approached with caution. Objects seem to be missing, with only the impressions made by their mass remaining as a record. The intentionality of the objects that are present is questionable. Things are simultaneously much more and much less stable than they appear to be. Contamination is a real concern. There is a dichotomy between permanence and impermanence, the utilitarian and the obtrusive, the mundane and the sanctified. It might all be a joke with no punchline.

Brodsky uses the acts of listing and categorizing to create the semblance of a disjointed narrative. The title of the show derives from narrative connectors: “first there was, and then there was.” Something happened, then something else, then something else. A appears to have led to B, to C, to D. Here, the indexical system is present as a framing device, something to push against. Logic sets up the possibility of red herrings, for the frustrations of not understanding or not solving. It acts as a foil for sex, madness, shit, humor, the mythical Furies, some kind of force of creation and destruction that is outside of and greater than the system.

Anticipation, excitement, dread, all require vulnerability: emotional, physical, or both. Trust is extended towards another being or eventuality, allowing him/her/it into one’s personal space. There is always a brief moment when it is unclear whether the stranger is leaning in in order to be violent, intimate, or both. Such an invasion elicits a physical response. The body tenses reflexively, bracing for fight or flight. Foreplay comes to mind. The erotic power of uncertainty, of waiting, not touching, not moving. In sexual and religious fetishes, art galleries, high end boutiques, the unavailability of the object gives it its power.

Tanya Brodsky (b. 1982, Kiev, Ukraine) lives and works in Los Angeles and San Diego. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She is currently working towards an MFA at UC San Diego. Her work has been included in exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York. This summer she will participate in two traveling exhibitions in Monterrey, Mexico, and Bilbao, Spain.