Diaz Contemporary presents Michelle Allard’s eagerly anticipated first solo exhibition with the gallery, In Transit, for which Allard is showing sculptural works realised in the gallery space, a series of ink drawings on paper, and C-prints of recent works.
Michelle Allard‘s work is enmeshed in the quotidian languages of the materials used to package, protect, and ship consumer goods, and those that make up the ephemera of bureaucratic functioning. Lengths of packing tape, bubble-wrap and pallet-wrap, and quantities of cardboard boxes and letter-size paper are consumed in her spatial interjections. Combined ad nauseum with themselves or with each other, Allard’s materials are formed into spheres, piles, stacks, or messy rivulets that spread across the gallery. For the work In Transit (Box sphere) cardboard boxes gather and cling together under a cocoon of the plastic used to secure pallets loaded with merchandise, with the resultant appearance of pixellated scaled-up fish eggs. In Bubble Balls 1-3 (SML), Allard has spun the safety wrapping commonly used to protect artwork, or in the shipping of fragile items, into translucent spheres. These pieces sit on the floor, somehow massive, somehow not, suggesting the middle stages of a particular compulsion to collect, amass, and combine.
The works on paper that accompany these sculptures, Storage + Mobility Drawings seem speculative in the context of Allard’s sculptures, appearing as observations of potential material or as studies of future quarry for her art production; observations of items and elements that Allard has already made use of or that she may harvest next. In Transit presents a conversation with the base matter of our socio-economic system and the trappings that sustain it wherein all the material means devised to transport, protect, and sustain have now been highlighted as the object itself; material intended to act merely as conveyance now becomes the essence of objecthood itself.