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Review: Daniel Arsham at OHWOW

Daniel Arsham’s casts of everyday or recently obsolete objects in sand, volcanic ash or various kinds of rock are like premature fossils, or perhaps eerie premonitions of ruin to come. His exhibition at OHWOW includes gray or black facsimiles of a chunky old laptop, a television set with dials, a Polaroid camera, turntables, even a Cosmonaut’s helmet, that have been riddled with craggy holes, cracks and fissures as if eroded over years (or the product of some horrible, Pompeii-like disaster). They’re fun, puzzling artifacts that comment on our culture of near-immediate obsolescence.

Less conceptually clear are casts of basketballs, baseballs and baseball gloves. Last time I checked these sports were still going strong, at least in the U.S. Perhaps their fossilization and erosion are wishful thinking or some comment on “old-fashioned” physical sport (as opposed to say, video games), or even a more personal, albeit less interesting childhood nostalgia. In a rack of life-size basketballs there is a whiff of Jeff Koons’ orange orbs floating in water; Arsham’s, made of rose quartz, would surely sink.

A Pop influence is evident elsewhere, in the artist’s casts of the McDonald’s and Shell logos. While the Shell logo is pitted and pock marked like the rest, the McDonald’s logo is glittery black and whole. Made from obsidian, it seems impervious to the decay scattered all around it.

OHWOW, 937 N. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 652-1711, through May 3. Closed Sundays. www.oh-wow.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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