The astronaut did not die a tragic death but simply completed his extended mission. Expending all the available fuel and oxygen he sat down to rest without a means to return. Falling into the deepest sleep the astronaut found that within dreams it was possible to travel without the constraints of time and space.
Alex Dodge presents his first solo exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, which has exhibited his work in previous group shows. The show will include drawings, an editioned screenprint, a large-scale photograph and a life-size sculpture of a deceased astronaut.
Dodge’s work consistently combines superior technical expertise and experimentation with a deeply thoughtful description of human experience. In his sculpture of a NASA astronaut we see the remains of a now long dead explorer. The skull, partially cocooned by a web of spun silk, sits encapsulated within the sealed and pressurized space suit. The circumstances of this strange death are further complicated by the presence of a swarm of monarch butterflies that have landed on the helmet and suit, seeming to peer inside at the astronaut’s remains.
In three drawings and a screenprint specially editioned for this exhibition, the human body seems to have suddenly liquified, leaving a full set of clothing as the only remnants of what once was there. The brilliantly evocative “liquid” splashes across the paper in all its glittering wetness, puddling and spraying in all directions. The mysterious substance is at once bodily and “purified,” present and absent, beautiful and unnerving. The remaining garments are the only physical element of a life that has perhaps moved on to another place.
Finally, in a large scale C-Print, Dodge has digitally created the interior of a commercial airliner. The familiarity of this clean, modern environment is broken by both the complete absence of travelers and the white light emanating from the front of the cabin threatening to engulf the plane. Here any sign of human life has been removed, perhaps as a result of wherever this plane is headed. Here Dodge completes the dissolution of the body and presents the possibility, both anxious and hopeful, of a transcendent state of being.