Yuji Agematsu, Gottfried Brockmann, Eli Coplan, A. Michael Noll
Quad
6 April–11 May 2024
Opening: Friday 5 April, 6–8 pm


a. SQUIRE is pleased to announce Quad, an exhibition of recent and older works by Yuji Agematsu, Gottfried Brockmann, Eli Coplan and A. Michael Noll. The show is titled after the 1981 TV play by Samuel Beckett in which four shrouded and shuffling figures, despite their centripetal imperatives, never occupy the middle of a square. As Gilles Deleuze writes, “Quad is a refrain that is essentially propulsive, with the shuffling of slippers for music—like the sound of rats.”

The quad is an ambiguous space and a public one. It is predicated on illusions of openness, cleanness, and sublime mobility. It might bring to mind a university or a plaza—the forecourt of capital—or the fancy of an urban pasture, such as a garden square in Bloomsbury. In each instance it is a buffer zone to commerce. New things flow within it in continual transaction. Exhausted things are sequestered by the economies of waste.

Yuji Agematsu consumes space just as space is devoured by consumption. He moves through the city and so does the detritus he collects. Unlike Beckett's, his is a choreography of interruptions.

In Eli Coplan's sculpture, a piece of would-be trash is also interrupted and interrupts the visual field of a flatscreen television. A deflated air cushioning bag is inserted beneath the glass of a product it might once have protected. It appears to be a trompe l'oeil image but in reality is the material disruption of the device. It is today's pressed flower.

Diagonally opposite Coplan's screen sits an older model: the black box TV on which A. Michael Noll's 1965 Computer-Generated Ballet plays. The dancers twirl or glide across it like the first particles of dust pirouetting in a vacuum.

Movement is also distilled to essential contours in Gottfried Brockmann's work. A pair of figures pivot about a central axis: a set of superimpositions soldered in revolution.

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