ARTWORKS

The new series of sculptures by Daniel Fiorda continues in many ways the themes that have infused his previous work. For the last several years, Fiorda has dealt with technology, obsolescence, with the trail of discarded tech that humanity leaves behind and what it says about us.

The new work takes this thematic one step further. Here, concrete is both material and symbol. Each sculptural element is almost entirely made of reinforced concrete, cast in the shape of a miniature Brutalist building. These towers feature barely concealed found objects, almost fully engulfed by concrete, and yet still eerily discernible: industrial gears, old cameras and lenses, objects that evoke industrial and pre-digital eras.

The overall sense is dystopian rather than apocalyptic. In Fiorda’s previous work, found objects were displayed as if unearthed from a bed of clay by a tacit anthropologist, perhaps decades into the future. A cell phone would be partially buried by dry soil and weathered by the passing of time. The underlying narrative was that of a future civilization unearthing the objects left by ours. Destruction or extinction were implied. In the new work, the obsolete technology is not found but rather engulfed by a new technology. Concrete, as a material and as a technology, has the capabilities to fully encase and envelope. In Fiorda’s new work, the concrete structures—towers, pseud-pyramids—exude authority and uniformity, and the appropriation of old technology into new structures suggests a historical and technological challenge right around the corner, mirroring the ones in our recent past: the digital age fully replacing the analog world, financial capitalism swallowing economies whole, etc.

These are astounding sculptures, asymmetrical, with hidden planes and embedded objects. Concrete is worked into a wide variety of appearances; transfer of color and texture from other objects is apparent. These are pieces to examine closely, to walk around, and make connections between theme, material, and shape.

Sebastian Leder -Kremer

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