Brian O'Connell: The Illusion of Plans

Oct. 8, 2010 - Nov. 13, 2010

Opening reception Oct. 8, 2010, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Brian O'Connell presents The Illusion of Plans. In three separate works, he reduces objects and structures to their most basic physical variables. By foregrounding materiality, O'Connell allows the complex histories of the materials and construction processes to come to the surface unimpeded by personal aesthetic choices.

The exhibition's core project, The Illusion of Plans, goes deep into colliding natural, economic and political histories via the indigo plant. In The Illusion of Plans, indigo is stripped down to two primary qualities: that particular color blue, and a generic-looking plant. Spiraling outward from these material foundations are wild expeditions to locate indigo plants in their natural Florida habitat, encounters with local botanists and horticultural bureaucracies, and the discovery of indigo's troubling labor history.

The exhibition space will be divided by (Not) Architecture: Partial Walls for Dorsch Gallery, a series of rammed-earth walls tracing floor markings from Dorsch Gallery's former incarnation as a lamp factory. Here, the use of earth as a material refers both to alternative building methods and 70's earth works, with a perversion of modern convenience: O'Connell's apparently ecological architecture is composed of Miracle-Gro soil mixed with concrete, an artificial approximation of the natural. In a separate project titled Structural, Uncontrolled, Hollywood, Political, Auteur, Cosmic, Happy, Sad, and Ordinary, an antiquated projector runs endlessly, projecting no film, only a blank field of light. A relationship is established with both the history of film - the title refers to a list of film genres in Robert Smithson's Art Through the Camera's Eye - as well as work by James Turrell and others using light as a medium.

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Installation view

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Foreground walls: (Not) Architecture: Walls for East Gallery, Dorsch Gallery, 2010; Projection: Structural, Uncontrolled, Hollywood, Political, Auteur, Cosmic, Happy, Sad, and Ordinary (Dorsch Gallery), 2010; Right: The Illusion of Plans (6:864x864)

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The Illusion of Plans I, 2010, The Illusion of Plans II, 2010, The Illusion of Plans III, 2010,

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Detail of (Not) Architecture: Walls for East Gallery, Dorsch Gallery, 2010

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Indigofera Tinctoria (True Indigo) and Indigofera Spicata (Trailing Indigo)

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Indigo Tinctoria (True Indigo), Sept. 17 2010, Miami, FL, solar-exposed cyanotype