1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
October 15, 2016 - November 4, 2016
How do I have and hold my body when I read the "R" in power? As I think backwards, scanning through a bulk of memory, I am struck by how promiscuous that same letter "R" has been. Its curled tongue pointing upwards to held and parted lips, starting and ending a population of tenses.
In BINDER, Daniel Luedtke presents new sculptures, paintings and installation-based work around ideas of provisional, fractured and associative ways we use language to orient the moving target of identity. Just as a 3-Ring Binder presents a temporary and mutable structure and ordering of pages in a book, this work illustrates how figurative images, paper pages, found objects and color relationships create associative narratives that influence our understanding of text itself.
Repeating and interlocking resin-coated "tiles" respond to the esoteric features of Roman Susan's gallery space and act between the architecture, enlarged letter-form sculptures, pictograms and viewer. This process mimics the ways that actually-factual tile guards appliances and architecture from the messy, wet, uncontainable nature of bodily maintenance (cooking, bathing). Figurative shape and reference are presented partial and flat, underlining the thickened, viscous text-sculptures. This role reversal of reader to text imagines a system where bodies stand-in for individual letters, acting and moving within an efficient and flexible system where meaning, purpose and usage is promiscuous and changing all the time.
I should be dead / living is magic. The act of living with HIV today is to be within its historical midst without its shadow. I reside in this contradictory understanding of my body as a medically managed, healthy, full-body-quotation of the dark years of the epidemic. The absence of symptoms and the presence of disease are neither exclusive nor contradictory, and I use this experience as a way to create images and objects that highlight how representation is both narrative and incomplete.
Through the process of tracing and indexing body parts, domestic objects and institutional architecture, I question how objects, images and subjects perform themselves. These partial and fragmented signifiers illustrate the simultaneous and contradictory ways that identity and history are constructed and fractured with use.
My paintings, sculpture, prints and videos use flat indexical drawings and images as foundational elements that are collaged and assembled into final compositions. Depth and dimensionality are built up though a process-based layering of transparent color and material upon "blank", non-referential substrates such as foam-board and paper. I consider works to be complete when an entire composition appears unified, but not solidified, permitting the viewer to rearrange each floating signifier in their mind. Much like a semiotic arrangement of words in a language, I pair these flattened references to bodies, technology, sexuality, conceptions of gender/race and medical management to illustrate how stable subjectivity and identity politics can be rearranged, questioning and confusing the dynamics of power relationships and social norms. The edges and framing devices present in my work illustrate how the disputed political boundaries of the personal and political can be redesigned, creating associative structures of forms and figures to be.
– Daniel Luedtke
Daniel Luedtke lives, labors and loves in Chicago and makes art between several mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, video and music. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2013 and has exhibited work nationally and internationally in spaces such the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Tom of Finland Foundation (Los Angeles), Museum of Art and Design (New York), and NP3 Gallery (Netherlands). For additional information about past projects, please visit dnml.org.