Soft Machines: Alfredo Aceto, Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer, Fanny Gicquel, Gordon Hall, Jason Hendrik Hansma, terra0, Franz Erhard Walther

14 September - 26 October 2022

Hua International is pleased to announce the opening of the group exhibition Soft Machines, featuring works by Alfredo Aceto, Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer, Fanny Gicquel, Gordon Hall, Jason Hendrik Hansma, terra0, and Franz Erhard Walther.


A historical touchstone for the exhibition is the work of the German artist Franz Erhard Walther. In the early 1960s, Walther turned away from traditional painting on canvas to forge a new way of working, the notion of “action as work form”—an expanded approach that explored the presence of the body and physical sensation in the visual art. Walther’s work is placed in conversation with a younger generation of artists whose work poetically engages objects and bodies in an expanded sense: their transience, fluidity, materiality, and presence. 


Alfredo Aceto formally explores questions of emptiness and fullness to evoke bodies in their absence. Artisanal menswear appears in many of his works, recalling both the sensuality of fine materials, skilled labor, and the conservative weight of tradition. In his photographs and sculpture for the exhibition, Aceto combines garments with objects that propose new modes of sensing, behaving, and being. In their ongoing project Infinite Library, begun in 2007, Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramerrecombine pages from found publications dating from the 1890s through the 1980s. Each book is dismantled, modified, and restructured into new unique volumes guided by an intuitive and associative logic. Pages of the individual volumes combine into a single body—an in-between space in a constant state of renewal. Fanny Gicquel’s sculptures and performances propose the body as a kind unfolding, a place where things happen, an open space. Her sculpture I Said Cage, Not Room blurs the boundaries between figure, object, and space—positing as a malleable zone that perpetually negotiates its edges or boundaries. 


Gordon Hall’s sculptural works recreate and “unmake” objects that typically recede into the background, recasting commonplace yet peripheral things in ways that compel us to witness the poetics of everyday objects in how they affect us emotionally, socially, and physically. Hall's sculptures function as a means of thinking through how bodies function relationally: how we move through spaces, what objects ask of us, and how we can refuse bodily legibility through kinship with these multivalent forms. Jason Hendrik Hansma’s work explores the in-between, the liminal, and the nearly articulate. His blown glass work Antumbra emerged from a series of works exploring relics, refractions, light and colour. Here, identities, cultures and materials mesh and mutate resulting in inter-connective moments of proximity. The sculptures are made of a thick, pigmented glass that enfolds the viewer and their surroundings into its reflective surfaces. Hansma considers the relationship between the glassblower and their material as a kind of "slur“ –a space between that has the potential to harbor new zones of freedom and possibility. terra0 is an art collective working on scalable frameworks built on the Ethereum network which provide automated resilience systems for ecosystems. Flowertokens was an experimental project centered around the tokenization and verification of natural commodities, and an early attempt at creating a combined crypto-collectible physical asset. 100 dahlias were represented by and tied to an individual ERC721-standard flower token on the Ethereum main net. The dried and arranged Flower Number 100 appears on a printed sheet that includes trade and valorization statistics. 

The works included in Soft Machine propose myriad zones of transformation: between the human and object, organic and inorganic, old and new, digital and physical. They continually draw attention towards moments of contingency, accident, collaboration, and surprise—proposing a mingling with the world that mingles within you, a body composed of many bodies that extends beyond your skin.1






1. Here, a cross-pollination of Michel Serres and Eula Biss. See Michel Serres, The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies, trans. Margaret Sankey and Peter Cowley, (London: Continuum, 2009) and Eula Biss, On Immunity: An Inoculation  (Minneapolis: Greywolf Press, 2014).


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