A GATHERING IN THE MAKING
SRESHTA RIT PREMNATH, GABRIELA SALAZAR, JUSTIN STERLING
APRIL 13 - MAY 20, 2023
Someday is happy to announce A Gathering in the Making, featuring work by Sreshta Rit Premnath, Gabriela Salazar, and Justin Sterling. The title of the exhibition is taken from Anna Tsing’s 2017 essay, “The Buck, The Bull, and the Dream of the Stag: Some Unexpected Weeds of the Anthropocene." In the text, Tsing describes the landscape as a multi-species “gathering in the making,” where entities come together to negotiate collaborative survival. Building upon this concept, the exhibition explores how diverse landscapes, whether macro or micro, physical or imagined, shape human experience and behavior.
Sreshta Rit Premnath’s sculptures incorporate visual references from modern art history and urban infrastructure to create ghostly forms that challenge our preconceived notions of organic life. Made of foam and plaster, his fragmented forms appear in slumped configurations, tethered to dangling medical IVs, and surrounded by industrial debris. Despite their harsh edges and distinct borders, live plants colonize polished metal, sprouting resolutely from loose piles of soil. By including so-called ‘invasive species’ such as weeds, Premnath highlights the issues of desirability, confinement, and marginalization that restrict both people and plants from thriving in inhospitable ecosystems. A series of sculptural wall drawings depicting the pale outline of chain-link fencing emphasizes the theme of disenfranchisement, giving shape to the often-invisible borders that divide us, both physically and psychologically.
Gabriela Salazar’s large-scale paper castings and sculpted wall railings explore the intersection of nature, architecture, and culture from the perspective of the displaced. By subverting the structural integrity of secondary architecture through familiar forms such as the handrail, Salazar questions whether contemporary infrastructure can genuinely provide the assistance, protection, and stability it promises - especially to the most vulnerable. For the show, Salazar uses water-soluble paper to suspend these forms in an illusory tryst with permanence. Haptic information is readily absorbed within the organic and ephemeral substances, indexing traces of labor from their handling alongside natural blemishes that honor the reciprocity between material and maker.
Justin Sterling’s functional sculptures and wall works, made from repurposed police barricades and shattered windows, critique the violent implications of our broken criminal justice system. Two low benches, fabricated out of discarded NYPD crowd barriers, offer space for communal rest and reflection. By reclaiming material associated with violence and subjugation, Sterling suggests that even the most atrocious realities can be transformed by collaborative action. This sentiment is further explored in his glass constructions, which examine the devastating effects of Broken Window Theory Policing. To produce these works, Sterling collects discarded window frames, breaks them with a rock, and then carefully pieces them back together into colorful, stained-glass compositions or thriving terrariums sprouting living plants. As both the breaker and the mender, Sterling’s windows suggest hope for healing and regeneration within the wreckage.
Collectively, the works on display challenge the boundaries that appear to separate our natural, political, and social landscapes. They spill out of the confines of the gallery architecture, leaking from their armatures and willfully commingling with each other in an intoxicating alloy. Through their innovative use of material and keen attention to form, Premnath, Salazar, and Sterling invite us to reflect on the role we play as active participants in our environment, and the significance of mutual exchange in negotiating the challenges of the Anthropocene.