Marlborough is pleased to present ALL THE WORLD, the gallery’s third solo exhibition by San Francisco-based artist Davina Semo. Consisting of large-scale sculptures in bronze and aluminum, along with wall works made from colored plastic and steel ball bearings, the show engages our lived environment: the symbiosis of power and control, and the friction between brutality and physical beauty. Completed during a series of catastrophic wildfires in her newly adopted state of California, this new group of works looks to the global circulation of resources and their inherent capability for dramatic reuse—especially as it relates to an increasingly overwhelming ecological anxiety.
In the case of the freestanding sculptures, the materials are both found and converted. Cubic bales of reclaimed aluminum form blocks of writhing consumer detritus and serve as the ballast for bells cast in bronze. The bells, which have taken on a bodily scale, feature variegated, gnarled surfaces that distinguish both look and tone. Braided, synthetic rope suspends wooden clappers that invite viewers to ring the bells, giving voice to matter, and enacting their symbolic purpose as expression of liberty, a call to action, a call to community, and a warning.
The wall-hanging works are made in a variety of colors of mirrored acrylic embedded with constellations of the small sealed bearings that are typically used in skateboard wheels but are more recently and broadly associated with the fidget spinner craze. These works implicate the viewer in their networked patterns, while the machined acrylic warps the reflection of the freestanding sculptures, viewers, and the architecture of the gallery. This warped vantage point serves as a precise metaphor for our growing neuroses and attention deficit and its specious viral-commodity remedy.
In the artist’s material lexicon, plastic is another pollutant with potential for beauty. These works continue Semo’s insistence on the physical effects and poetic potential of industrial materials and a similarly visceral set of installation strategies that enable them.
The artist would like to thank CASS, Inc. for their generosity and assistance in making this exhibition possible. Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington, D.C.) completed her MFA at the University of California, San Diego in 2006. She received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University in 2003. Semo is represented by Marlborough Contemporary (New York and London), Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco), and ribordy contemporary (Geneva). She lives and works in San Francisco.