Uri Aran loves cookies. In his current show, by foot, by car, by bus at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, the artist explores the eminent childhood snack from a variety of media, discussing them in video, capturing them in photograph, and incorporating them into his large-scale tabletop sculptures, creating a motif of seemingly childish innocence that spans Aran’s vocabulary as a sculptor, illustrator, video, and performance artist.
Already recognized for his “topographic sculptures,” tabletops covered with ready-made objects, drawings, and photographs, alongside cookies, Aran fills in the gaps using projected video and images to create an immersive environment that explores the nature of childhood naivety and nostalgia. The sculptures vacillate between a near compulsion for order and a reckless abandon, occasionally backdropped by scrawled drawings and abstract painting. Stages of life are frequently referenced through photographs littered among the sculptures.
The show also features a number of performance videos from Aran, in which he awkwardly recounts middling details of various name-brand cookies, beseeches his mother to pay attention to something off camera, and describes tennis balls placed below his image. Other walls bear projected video stills of Sesame Street characters in black and white, often in poses of distress, highlighting Aran’s reoccurring motifs.
- D. Creahan