Bust Sculpture, Jai&Jai Gallery, Los Angeles, 2015
in "Bust" curated by William O'Brien Jr.
Combust or (Its What’s on the Inside that Counts) is a work that draws in its environment, twisting, posturing, and opening in response to local infrastructure: the smoke-detector and the light source. The tense dialog between face and sensor is palpable when, as the viewer moves around the bust, the material is understood not only as wooden sticks but as phosphorus-tipped match-sticks, always threatening to combust and cause the sensor to sound. In its stand-off with the sensor, the bust’s promise of immanent fire implies a future (burnt) twin. Wheareas the typical bust is closed and convex, Combust’s face reveals its surficiality, its thinness. Reinforcing this, an internal saltire (created by white cigar matches) is legible in color on the interior and in depth on the exterior.
Combust manifests CODA’s commitment to context as a generator of legible form, to perceptual manipulation and surprise through material mis-use, and to architecture that can transform through human (or animal) interaction.