Aaron Gemmill Samuel Payne

Curated by Rachel Valinsky
March 3 - March 8, 2015

Skylight at Moynihan Station
Room 4021, 4th Floor East Hallway
307 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001

Roven, Glen. "Eating Art." Huffington Post. March 6, 2015.
Hamer, Katy Diamond. "Where Did You Go for SPRING/BREAK, 2015." Eyes towards the dove. March 24, 2015.
The exhibition investigates daily spatial exchange as a strategy for marking, mapping, and charting forms of displacement and directional movement. The show presents certain tactics linked to intuitive and adaptive experiences of space that undercut or problematize rational understanding of a landscape's continuous qualities and imbue everyday practices with new critical perspectives. To this effect, it postulates that the affective and spatial labor implicitly performed at the individual level, describes a negotiation of space, a constant exchange which also points to a form of resistance to the rationalization and commodification of memory, images, transportation, and communication.

In Aaron Gemmill’s to live where others pass (nest) series, road data from MTA bus maps was processed through nesting software to produce a laser-cut acrylic panels, which were then used as printing plates. The plates were installed as the floor of an art fair booth where the weight of visitors’ footsteps created cracks in the surface. Abstracting the transit map onto a floor relief, which in turn took on multiple forms into these unique, idiosyncratic prints, Gemmill repurposes modes of spatial organization into intelligible new propositions for routing movement and tracking the history of the printing plate’s activity, use, and packaging. In his photographs, Gemmill has positioned himself at the intersection of a sidewalk at the coordinates 40.701, -73.987 (near the underpass crossing of the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway). Through a conflation of the angles and the photographic frame’s aspect ratio, the photographs collapse two-point perspective of the image into the frontal image object that contains it. Gemmill uses the expansion joints as rules to create folds in the photographs.

Samuel Payne’s work explores displacement as a function of ludic play, materials, and physical labor. Payne’s work takes cues from Archimedes’ principle, which indicates that the force of an object moving upwards as it is submerged partially or fully in fluid, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the object displaces. Mapping this displacement, which emerges from the relationship between an object and its fluid, shifting context, Payne tracks the objects’ relation to the center and to the periphery. In his most recent work, 1,820 lb Gambit, Payne elaborates on the difference between destruction and storage, disappearance and displacement. Using tiles he was once hired to remove himself from the floor of a gallery, Payne doubles their removal, by installing and extracting them from the exhibition space’s floor. In pulling the centerpiece out and placing it in a bin on the periphery of the room, Payne also puts the outside on display and conflates the temporality of the tiles’ exhibition. He asks what the residue of memory of labor can be when the work wants to point to an absence.


Aaron Gemmill (b. Birmingham, AL) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds an MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. His work has been exhibited at P!, Cleopatra’s Greenpoint, Socrates Sculpture Park, Carriage Trade in New York, among others.

Samuel Payne (b. 1982, New York) lives and works in Brooklyn. He earned his MFA in painting at the University of Washington in Seattle, and his BA at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. His work has been exhibited at Torrence Shipman, New York and Peninsula Art Space, New York.