“Just Dropped in to See What Condition My Condition Was In,” Nick Van Woert’s solo exhibition at West Hollywood’s Moran Bonderoff gallery, plays on the Kenny Rogers song of the same title, referencing altered states, the human condition, and the repetitive dance of history. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” as philosopher George Santyana famously said.
Or, as Woert’s art viscerally points out, perhaps the past we remember isn’t really what it appeared to be after all.
Historic Caucasian faces carved on wooden cigar store Indian sculptures; the bombardment by police of a Philadelphia row house in 1985 meticulously miniaturized; a vinyl record – available as a take-home to opening night visitors – recreating the sounds and noises designed as musical torture in the Waco, Texas Branch Dividians stand-off.
All are a part of this wide ranging and well-curated exhibition which pulls viewers off the street and into a world of public events and private perceptions.
Recall, reinvent, and respect.
Van Woert is originally from Reno, works in Brooklyn, and professes a powerful interest in “the evolution of materials in architecture and art… these days we’re interested in preserving the past, but only visually. There is no material continuity. The materials are more or less insignificant.”
“Condition,” however, is quite significant. Significantly substantive political statements, significant design and art, significant emotions presented across the installation’s environment. How many gallery exhibits really make you think? It’s not just political landscape, it’s the landscape of people bearing the weight of their politics.
You can check out your condition – and conditioning – through October 10th. Moran Bonderoff is located at 937 N. La Cienega in West Hollywood.
- Genie Davis, Photos – Jack Burke