End Note

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The cu­ri­ous en­vi­ron­ments and ob­jets of artist-ar­chi­tect Miles Gertler BY ANYA GEORGIJEVIC

THEY LOOK LIKE BUILD­INGS, but the spa­ces are not in­hab­it­able. There is a sem­blance of life, but it’s not of the hu­man kind — trop­i­cal flora and fauna nes­tled within metic­u­lously ar­ranged com­po­si­tions of ab­stract ob­jects, from pipes and ropes to benches and lad­ders. Sce­nario City is a new se­ries of prints by Miles Gertler, part of his solo ex­hi­bi­tion Rare Item at Corkin Gallery. The 27-year-old artist’s work is densely lay­ered and in­formed by his ar­chi­tec­ture prac­tice, but pos­sesses a hope­ful lev­ity and, some­times, a splash of satire. The sec­tional view of the units would seem omi­nous, if not for the hu­mor­ous fact that flamin­gos have de­cided to take up res­i­dence in the ver­ti­cal city. Miles Gertler’s new show Rare Item com­bines the reg­u­lar and the ob­tuse in in­trigu­ing forms BY ANYA GEORGIJEVIC

Gertler ac­quired his fas­ci­na­tion with su­per­struc­tures while he was study­ing ar­chi­tec­ture at Prince­ton Univer­sity, where he ex­plored death and daily city life through built en­vi­ron­ments. This in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues in his ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice, Com­mon Ac­counts, of which he is co-di­rec­tor with Span­ish ar­chi­tect Igor Bra­gado. His art em­bod­ies the same ideas, but the ex­e­cu­tion is much more vis­ceral. Gertler, who cre­ates the two-di­men­sional prints dig­i­tally, has re­cently added three-di­men­sional resin ob­jects to the mix. “They’re de­sign ob­jects that flirt with use and use­less­ness,” says Gertler. “They don’t all per­form a func­tion, and so in that sense I’m in­ter­ested in them as in­stant heir­looms.”

In con­trast to the moody prints, the ob­jects are joy­ful in their pas­tel pal­ette, cat­a­logued on wooden crates, or as he calls them, arks. “The bib­li­cal con­cept of the ark is ba­si­cally this ar­chi­tec­tural su­per­struc­ture that plays host to a col­lapsed set of ter­ri­to­rial parts,” ex­plains Gertler. Among the cu­ri­ous el­e­ments mak­ing up these arks is a sim­pli­fied toy-like crown. “Its value is to­tally in its im­age and its sym­bolic power,” he says. Like the generic build­ings, the crown is in­signif­i­cant as a form be­yond its sym­bol­ism with­out some­one to wear it. Who that could be is left to the imag­i­na­tion.

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