Gordon Hall’s sculptures trouble our efforts to definitively read them, preferring to perpetually waver between adjacent identities. They feel familiar yet strange, made up of the edges of recognizable things—benches, shims, a basin, turned table legs, a saddle, tools. These furniture-like objects ask to be used, but are not clear about how or by whom. Through this potentiality, they are rendered anew, and slightly perverted. We watch the sculptures as they watch us. Together, our usefulness is called into question.
Made of cast concrete, poplar, and carved brick, this group of floor-based sculptures was commissioned by and presented at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in the summer of 2019 in Gordon Hall’s exhibition THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH, curated by Kristan Kennedy and Roya Amirsoleymani, who also contributed to this text. Hall’s first book of collected essays, performance scripts, and interviews--OVER-BELIEFS: Gordon Hall Collected Writing 2011-2018--was published by PICA in conjunction with the exhibition and is now available at DOCUMENT.
Image: Gordon Hall, Kneeling Object III (Poplar), 2019, waxed carved poplar, 16 x 5.5 x 16.5 in.