Entropic Relations: Rod Fahmian and Zaid Yousef, Riverside, CA (November 2014)

Part 1: Rod Fahmian, November 22, 2014
Part 2: Zaid Yousef, November 29, 2014

Entropic Relations is a two-part exhibition featuring solo projects by Rod Fahmian and Zaid Yousef. Presented in the artists’ studio, each will create an installation and limited edition artwork in the space for one night. The individual projects are connected by the dynamics of the studio as well as in the shared discourses that comprise the artists’ work. Fahmian and Yousef explore ideas of order and disorder, construction and destruction, with a focus on entropy as the uniting factor. Entropic Relations seeks to connect these symbolic opposites through the contrasting material and conceptual elements that comprise the work. Entropic Relations will explore the natural and the constructed in relation to human interaction and experience.

The term entropy is a term typically used to describe the amount of order, disorder, or chaos (energy dispersion) in a thermodynamic system. In other words, how close a system is to equilibrium or verging on disorder. This term has also been used to describe the rejection of convention ideas in art making in favor of form over content. The idea of entropy is a reaction to technology and its inevitable collapse. It is an exploration of the common and visible objects and materials that surround us, in order to be filled by what according to artist Robert Smithson is the experience of “both past and future..placed into an objective present.”

Inspired by the composition of the urban landscape and the influence of contemporary subcultures, Rod Fahmian explores line, spatiality, and form in his sculptures. His works are formally structured by minimalist aesthetics and combine with aggressive undertones to subvert the act of looking. In part one of the exhibition, Fahmian will present an installation of three structures built to the dimensions of a doorway or passageway that use basic building materials such as concrete, metal, and glass. Through the familiarity of scale, slightly larger than the human body, the sculptures are inverted to actualize the presence of negative space. Rather than an opening, the sculptures are a barrier. They explore the antagonistic qualities of fabricated obstacles to disrupt and restrict the ideologically liberated experience of physical space.

Taken from various excursions into the desert, Zaid Yousef excavates natural black obsidian from giant rocks mere steps away from civilization. Obsidian is a naturally formed volcanic glass that is hard and brittle allowing it to fracture into sharp edges, which were used by many early cultures as cutting and piercing tools. In the act or performance of excavating these materials, Yousef utilizes aspects of geology and archeology to dislocate this natural element into the realm of the man-made. For the second part of the exhibition, Yousef will present three categories of collected specimens as an installation. Raw obsidian, welded extrusions, and modified specimens are displaced from their original locations and organized into a field of objects on the floor. Relocated into the realm of displayed objects, the specimens are deprived of their primary function as minerals. In this second site, the stones are transformed into basic forms that propose the idea of truth as a subjective experience. Entropic Relations is curated by Gladys-Katherina Hernando.

Both events took place at 2023 Chicago Avenue, Suite B22, Riverside, California 92507.

Part 1: Rod Fahmian

Part 2: Zaid Yousef