Downstairs #2

2010, 14:26 min, color, silent

In Downstairs #1 and Downstairs #2, Hubbard stacks everyday objects in front of a cloth backdrop in his Brooklyn studio. These rickety towers, composed of sawhorses, a glowing fluorescent light, a red plastic gas can, a yellow motor-oil bottle, rope, and other pedestrian objects, teeter on the verge of collapse until, with the addition of one final object that throws the stack off balance, they fall apart in an ecstatic release. Downstairs was first shown at Maccarone Gallery in New York, where each video was projected on a loop onto a tall, thin free-standing screen, each framed in steel. At once painterly and sculptural, the videos speak to the artist's concern with the mutability of artistic mediums, especially where one—the moving image, here with subtle but cohesive color schemes, narrow frame, and gestural indexicality—can serve as metaphor for another. At the Maccarone exhibit, these videos were shown alongside six abstract paintings by Hubbard, each composed with a complicated process using paint and resin, which served as parallel experiments in gesture and metaphor.

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