Through September 15/Chelsea
Press: Artnet News
CRUSHCURATORIAL is pleased to present ORCHID.seasons, an ambitious new body of work by artist Matthew Morrocco, best-known for his erotic self-portraits with older men, which deconstructs the role of marginalized bodies across social, financial, and queer economies of being. ORCHID.seasons features Morrocco posing in a variety of monochromatic body suits set in lush natural landscapes. These suits obscure his identity and represent the colors that comprise the spectrum of visible light: red, green, blue, orange, yellow, violet. Whereas his earlier bodies of work court and complicate cultural narratives about queer identity and sexuality, this new series denies the viewer a particularized queer body, obscuring Morrocco beneath the suits — each representing a color from the spectrum of visible light. Morrocco's body suit allows him to be present but undetectable, known if also imperceptible.
ORCHID.seasons complicates the relationship between photography, the marginalized body, and cultural and monetary economies. Through a complex form of data exchange, cryptocurrencies serve many functions beyond holding monetary value. Blockchain technology enables the execution of contracts, the documentation of provenance, and the verification of authenticity — the technology behind blockchain goes so far as to facilitate political and social procedure such as voting. Morrocco’s appropriation of the title, Orchid, an eponymous cryptocurrency which completely anonymizes a user’s internet experience, highlights how queerness today—and the particular kind of anonymity that began with the internet boom in the 1990s—are inextricably linked to these new modes of technology. His purposeful assumption of anonymity therefore scrutinizes subjectivity and highlights that the body, sexuality, and gender are similarly subject to commodification, valuation, and exchange. The artist's eradication of identity through the adoption of monochrome bodysuits also references the science of vision, breaking down color photography into its core component: the rainbow spectrum of visible light.
Given Morrocco’s interest in unpacking conventional cultural practices, the show will employ a pioneering “capsule” schedule, with four 10-day exhibitions coinciding with seasonal changes: fall, winter, spring and summer — a patent divergence from the typical month-long gallery exhibition model. In choosing to have four shows coinciding with the seasons, Morrocco plays with codified methods of showcasing art, sets his own rhythm for showcasing his work, and reinforces the work’s relationship to the fleeting nature of light and the ephemerality time, which together comprise photography’s essential components. For ORCHID: Seasons, the gallery space will function as a site of cyclical, seasonal renewal.
Exclusive seasonal content will be available via the gallery and artist’s digital platforms. Join the conversation via @crushcuratorial and @matthew_morrocco.
Matthew Morrocco received a BA in Critical Theory and Photography from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2012 and an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University in 2015. His work has received grant support from the New York Foundation of the Arts, a blade of grass, NYU, and Columbia University. Recent exhibitions include Medium of Desire at the Leslie Lohman Museum, NY, Complicit at NYU’s Gallatin Gallery, NY, and Orchid: RGB, at Pioneer Works, NY. His book, Complicit, will be published in September 2018 with Matte Editions. More information can be found on his website.