The project Club Disminución (Club of Diminishing Returns) was instigated by Alexa Horochowski during her artist’s residency at Casa Poli, Coliumo, Chile, in 2012/2013. Designed by architects Mauricio Pezo and Sofía Von Ellrichshausen, Casa Poli, a minimalist, cement cube, functions as a cultural art center/artist studio. Built on a jagged cliff overlooking the Pacific, 30 miles from Chile’s second largest city, Concepción, Casa Poli appears perched at the end of the world. It offers views of the ocean from three of the cardinal points (South, West, and North). Directly below Casa Poli, the surf pounds into a narrow cave. The separation between landscape and architecture is indistinct.
In her pursuit of the physicality of form Horochowski uses a wide range of elemental media to render sculptures that defy their native qualities. Hard becomes soft, soft becomes hard, gestures are frozen. Natural objects, flotsam, and ‘naturalized’ garbage, combined with studio-generated objects, suggest a post-human natural history of the future. Sculpture, video, and large-scale digital prints work together to depict the struggle between the human drive to create lasting symbols of culture, and nature’s indifferent, persistent erasure of these symbols.
The landscape is distilled into distinctive objects that are charged with elements of the alien or the unknown. Horochowski molds cochayuyo (Durvillaea antartica, kelp that grows on the shores of Chile and New Zealand) into cuboidal forms that merge the mechanical with the organic and the living. Sponges are translated into bronze so that they resemble pumice, and natural materials take on the qualities of man-made objects. The work explores entropy and the passing of time by imitating the natural processes of accretion and aggregation found in caves, or the persistent impression left by fauna and water on architecture and the landscape. A fossil of a credit card heralds a post-consumer future, beyond the era of the Anthropocene.
The project was displayed at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, between 6th September and 9th November 2014.
Alexa Horochowski grew up in Patagonia, Argentina, and immigrated with her family to the United States when she was nine years old. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Braga Menendez Gallery, Buenos Aires; The Drawing Center, NYC; Praxis International Art, NYC/Miami; Franconia Sculpture Park, Minnesota; and The Soap Factory, Minneapolis. Horochowski has been awarded the following artist residencies: El Basilisco, Argentina, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, United States, and Casa Poli, Chile. She is Full Professor of Sculpture at St. Cloud State University, and a 2014 McKnight Fellow.