Making sense: sights and smells as sculptural form at Red Bull Studios NY
The latest show to grace Red Bull Studios New York is a feast not only for the eyes, but the nostrils. Centred around themes of filtration and psychotropics, ’BIO:DIP’ presents sensory work by Hayden Dunham and Nicolas Lobo; from large, fragrant soap sculptures atop overturned pools, to clouds of psychoactive chemicals wafting across the floor.
The exhibition is a first of its kind in the interdisciplinary project space – and for curator Neville Wakefield, who brought the show to fruition. Wakefield used Red Bull Studios New York’s connected two-floor galleries as an opportunity to pilot a show he had always wanted to do: placing two artists together and presenting their work in parallel. The result is a two-part exhibition of decidedly different pieces, intersecting on similar themes.
Using swimming pools on loan from a factory, Lobo cast large blocks of soap mixed with physiological additives, arranging the final sculptures on top of their molds. ‘It’s about finding the relationship of the object that came from the pool and then finding how to put it back in when the pool is inside out,’ he says.
Altering perceptions was another motif of the show, as the two artists collaborated on an installation of polychromatic polarised light, intended to challenge viewers’ circadian rhythms.
Pumping through the air vents and present in the form of evaporation in the space, Dunham’s work is a continuation of recent dabbles in chemical engineering, creating pieces that seep into your system — whether you want them to or not. Attendees who came for the opening of ’BIO:DIP’ were also offered ‘sensory cocktails’; vapors of infused vodka, as well as black and purple mixed drinks accented with brightly coloured flowers.