The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2015

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JUNE 2015 Issue


On View
David Zwirner
May 1 – July 24, 2015
New York

Beyond The Age of Iron

From the East to West arms were made from this substance;
Later bridges, railroads, and steamships became its perpetual “custodians,”
To comfort human lives. Some of us are in debt to González for his contributions.
Velázquez’s “Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan” immediately comes to my mind,
In this instance, when Newton’s Second Law and the system of units
Became a somber pronouncement of the predestined weight of living.
Or was the experience a slow petrification, more or less depending on the angles
At which one is standing.

Near or far, the force of gravity defers at once to an astonishing
And decisive placement of four equal units of near-square
Configurations atop their counterparts.
The fundamental property of each unit cries out for routine and rebellion,
As though all-pervading oppressions have dominated
The fate of human conditions.

Robust industrial beauty evokes kinematics, vectors
That escalate incontrovertible truths of solid form.
Irregular edges provoke sensations of varying passages of time,
Like varying temperature brings liquid to solid,
Memories to matter.
Not even old temples can escape the stare of Medusa;
So can we ever measure the weight of our bodies now, right now?
Velocity of light penetrates the margins.
Monuments were built to outlast their successors.

A rusted spectrum of grey anticipates controlled gestures of accident.
Oxidation claims the occupied space,
As when one is denied one’s autonomous zone.
Drips, stepped-on/stepped-out, imprints, torched flames;
Remarkable to question gravity, driven,
When most of us are barely aware of our verticality against the
Undeniable platform of earth.


Richard Serra, Equal (2015). Installation views. © 2015 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of David Zwirner. Photo by Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART.




Phong Bui

Phong H. Bui is the Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2015

All Issues