Photo Essays

The Familiar Pull of Alien Objects

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Installation view of Aimée Burg’s “Magicker of the Solutional Caves” (2015) at Auxiliary Projects

Auxiliary Projects, formerly in Bushwick, has relocated to a new space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The gallery is dedicated to showcasing affordable artworks, with each show featuring duplicates of the artwork available for sale.

The latest installation in the space, Magicker of the Solutional Caves by Aimée Burg, features objects that look like tchotchkes. Inspired by the anthropological finds of the Star Trek team (“the original, obvs” as is noted in the press release), these pieces are designed as the everyday tools of alien societies.

Gazing at these unusual, handcrafted objects, made of familiar materials like wood and papier maché, brings to mind the designs of housewares and other quotidian objects in our own world. The objects’ purposes, however, remain ambiguous.

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Installation view of Aimée Burg’s “Future Plans 6” (2015)

Many of these objects appear in “used” condition, such as the piece “Breastplate” (2015), which features jagged hanging elements reminiscent of broken window blinds. The artificial wear and tear of these products underlines their imaginary past. The series of blueprint-like drawings of “Future 6” (2015) appear as schematics instructing the viewer how to use these materials. However, the instructions are ultimately indecipherable.

Over time, Burg’s objects become more familiar — “Undergrowth” (2015) evokes an abacus, “Silver Mushroom” (2014) a hard-boiled egg —  and our impulse to discover their function emphasizes less their alien nature than the foreign aspects of our own everyday objects.

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Installation view of Aimee Burg’s “Silver Mushroom” (2014), paper clay, pine paint, 11 ¼ x 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches; “Green Jagged” (2014), pine, paint, 28 x 1 ½ x 3 inches; “Wood Jagged” (2014), oak, 27 x 3 ½ x 1 ½ inches each
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Installation view of Aimée Burg’s “Breastplate” (2015)
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Installation view of Aimée Burg’s “Undergrowth” (2015)
Installation view of Aimée Burg’s “Triangles” (2015)

Magicker of the Solutional Caves continues at Auxiliary Projects (212R Norman Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn) through May 3.

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