March 18 – April 16, 2011
. . we live in a society which is ruled by linguistic terrorism. We are ruled through language, through bureaucracy, by private business, or government, through lawyers. We don’t understand what they do because they don’t even speak the same language that we do. We are surrounded by these aspects of linguistic terrorism and are trained to react to the world as if it were a message we can never understand… We are ruled so much, abstracted so much by language that naturally we go to a work of art expecting to understand it.
– Carl Andre, “Linguistic Terrorism” (1976)
Steve Turner Contemporary is pleased to present Set In Concrete, an installation by Los Angeles-based artist Christopher Michlig from March 18- April 16, 2011. Michlig’s work mines the visual materials and communication platforms that populate, punctuate and describe urban space, reinterpreting and expanding upon ordinary public objects such as kiosks, bulletin boards, and commercial and political signage. For this exhibition, Michlig presents twenty unique silkscreen prints in conjunction with a wall-to-wall floor installation that are both derived from event posters taken from signposts around Los Angeles. The silkscreens utilize the negative space that surrounds the letterforms as well as the distinct color palette of the found posters. On the floor are hundreds of idiosyncratic cast concrete pavers in the form of chopped-up typefaces, mirroring the prints’ typographic vacancies. Michlig uses language as a sculptural and compositional subject in this installation by continually cutting and reorganizing letterforms, mitigating the degree to which language communicates. Referring to the way in which concrete poetry communicates structure over idiosyncratic expression, Set In Concrete presents language in a spatially concrete yet unresolved, interpretive state.
Born in Girdwood, Alaska in 1976, Michlig received an MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California in 2007. He has had a solo exhibitions at Jail Gallery, Los Angeles (2008) and Devening Projects + Editions, Chicago (2009).