56 HENRY Press Release:
On view in the gallery is a new set of sculptures. Mounted on the back wall, a maroon jacket hangs from its epaulets on metal peg board. The front of the jacket faces the wall, and the back of the jacket holds a set of plastic emblems that designate the make or model of a group of cars. To the right of this work, a miniature barricade that Gale fabricated hangs vertically. A long black XLR cable, which is used to connect a microphone to an amplifier, twists through the barricade and hangs down to the floor. One end of the cable runs to a large square of yellowing upholstery foam; the other end is affixed to a small structure made of glass and Mylar that recalls the shape of the barricade. Pressed between the Mylar and one of the panes of glass is a small black and white image that depicts a crowd - fans of the Rolling Stones -being held back by a group of police officers. Directly opposite this work, a U-shaped metal bracket is attached to the wall. Pink foam, which Gale printed with an inverted image of the Rolling Stones fans, is wrapped around the bracket, bound on both ends by a set of metal zip-ties.
Nikita Gale's practice is often structured by long-term obsessions with specific objects, or classes of objects, and the three works on view trace their roots to the artist's interest in cars and electric guitars. Gale is interested in the ways these objects gesture towards very specific social and political histories - and on a more physical register, the way in which both cars and electric guitars can be understood as instruments that extend or amplify the body, through a relationship to touch. In this way, through a series of precise formal decisions, the works on view gesture towards the relationship between Rock 'n' Roll music and subcultures of protest; an understanding of the image of the automobile in the American Dream; and a commodification of visual and cultural strategies that trace their origins to moments of protest.