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To Move an Obelisk

Published onJul 22, 2020
To Move an Obelisk

Each sculpture in Rob Andrade’s exhibition, To Move an Obelisk, taps into this repressed anxiety by accentuating the elements that harbor the brutality of megalopolis centers. Consisting of four works placed in a loose grid, they all rest directly on the wooden floor like miniature architectural maquettes. But the shape and form of each piece is highly abstracted and refrain from pointing to a specific referent.

They rather come off as fragments, cluttered arrangements of materials typically used in the urban landscape. While the works could hint at being modern day torture devices due to their hard jagged edges and sharp features, they look more like props for a staged production. As such, the exhibition uncomfortably oscillates between merely suggesting the overhanging threat of city life and replicating the environment completely. The viewer is in a safe enough space to critically distance themselves from phenomenal effects induced by urban areas. They are not triggered into wholly reliving the experience even though the exhibition provokes such sensations. Hence, To Move an Obelisk is like an inverted Potemkin village: a bold facade that intends to zero in on the louring metropolis, not to divert attention away from it.

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