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Conceptual artists Nicolas Lobo and Hayden Dunham have paired their talents together to create an installation taking interactive sculpture to a new level. “BIO:DIP,” created for the unique hybrid spaces at Red Bull Studios New York, is focused on the parallel natures of their work. The exhibition reexamines our interactions with technology, highlighting industrialized processes that fade into the background of our everyday lives to shape our senses of self.
Lobo’s part of the exhibition features soap sculptures resting on inverted swimming pools. The eccentric contours of the sculptures reflect the insides of the pools in which they were cast, and mix together materials to ignite the senses, such as activated charcoal and sandalwood. The pieces change with the presence of the viewer, as hormonal and aromatherapeutic scents react to the body heat of the viewer. Lobo’s sculptures also interact with themselves: the soap forms are designed to take shape from the pools and to look slightly awkward, resting on the inverse versions of their casts, while the holes within the forms, made with pool plumbing pipes and five-gallon buckets used to carry soap, emerge from the sculpting process itself. Lobo also covered two windows with 55 gallons of photo-degrading lipstick, which deteriorates as light shines through it, contrasting with its neighboring patterned LED light therapeutic installation, a collaborative piece from both artists.
Downstairs, Dunham’s half of the exhibition is more fluid and evocative of movement, stemming from the idea of an opened-up battery. Employing substances such as lithium, a chemical used in both batteries and psychotropic medicines, Dunham’s sculptures start with conceptual frameworks and evolve through the explosive nature of her materials. She likened her work as “getting to know a person,” discussing how her pieces were often results of “letting materials interact with each other…break each other down.” Similar to her past installations, Dunham’s work also interacts with the viewer; some pieces change shape and behavior in response to movement, such as a centerpiece vapor fountain with shifting fog, while others transform from solid to liquid to gas, which the viewer can inhale and exhale into the outside world.
In celebration of “BIO:DIP,” the Red Bull Studios New York curatorial team will reopen The Gift Shop, a concept store selling commissioned, limited edition pieces from contemporary artists. The exhibition will remain open until April 17.