brain damage is a show of new elastic works by Olga Balema that is 100% sculpture. Thin elastic bands, at times painted, are suspended above the floor by nails, as well as stapled into the ground and walls. The show deals in the most general and modest artistic concerns. As always with the artist, this is a new direction, but not necessarily progressive—more like a sum total of propositions tallied somewhere nonmaterial. The title seems to be a reference to the work’s literal resemblance of a nervous system, but most likely to relegate that comparison to a flat image rather than a theme.
The works are definitely reduced, but not minimal. Minimal would deal in absolute terms (tautness, un-tautness etc), not in bizarre numbers like 73, or other such numbers. Also, these discrete sculptures are themselves truly flexible, having full dynamic existences: rehearsed in the studio, in transit, and performed here in the gallery. Ultimately all legitimate configurations in their own right, their literal points of connection are mostly unchanged in each situation.
This might all seem very obvious, and it is. I personally think there is a conspiracy against the obvious concerning artmaking—that significance is made up, not discovered. In other words, this form wasn’t about to be discovered by someone else.
Text by Bradley Kronz
Image copyright Olga Balema,
courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYC