Christian Lord: American Hymn
The 9.99 Gallery is pleased to open its main gallery with a new exhibition: American Hymn by the American artist Christian Lord, which opens a critical dialogue on the founding myths of present-day societies, rethinking modernity and its structures. Lord, from a political and social perspective, talks about his local context in a sculptural language.
The exhibition, American Hymn, presents sculptures that question what is “North American,” referring to the founding myth of the United States as a balance of powers and hierarchies that have lifted it since its inception, and the power that each individual still has to impact the political and social framework and to overturn the rigidity of such structures. This, through the use of materials that go back to the country’s first handcrafted practices, such as ceramics and eagle feathers, which in this case are false and imported from China—an ironic statement of the construction of national identity from Capitalism, the commercial, and the transactions of postmodernity.
Both their materials and their forms become a metaphor of their current conceptions in a dialogue between contrasts: lightness and rigidity, metal and feathers, and the hardness and fragility of ceramics. Thus, feathers are, for the artist, the writing quills that symbolize authorship and his own voice. In some sculptures, a feather, a single individual, holds a metal beam by the breaking point, allowing it to fracture. For Lord, this is sculpture coming from an ideology since, just as the structures are heavy and rigid, they can still be broken by a single voice. His native ceramics also represent the instability of stairs and hierarchies, as if each small piece were a link in the chain of authority.
For the exhibition, the artist positions Nike sneakers as a representation of contemporaneity, a modern invention of capitalism, and a commercial fetish that is intervened with different elements, which, under the exhibition’s symbolic vocabulary, he connects with the American millennial production: quills and ink.
Christian Lord opens a dialogue with stylized objects, influenced by a minimalist current, and criticizes the power hierarchies of a society whose ideas of progress and consumption forget that a single individual can break the rules and start a revolution.