Ethan Breckenridge

b. 1977, Madison, USA. Lives and works in New York, USA


Ethan Breckenridge
Ethan Breckenridge, You Can't Stop the Hands of Time Man, 2010



Plants Have No Back and You Can't Stop The Hands Of Time, Man are portable environments made with real plants, tinted glass and mass-produced office furniture. These trappings of business culture populate waiting rooms all over the world, from Tokyo to Johannesburg - they are so commonplace that they are almost invisible. Breckenridge thus reduces “business casual" to a few signifying objects, distilling it and then monumentalizing it in his minimalist vitrines.

Behind You, I See and This are dusty window panes onto which are inscribed banal phrases, the sort that people say in order to fill up spaces in conversation. The sentences haunt the gallery, at once ephemeral and apparently vulnerable to some errant window-washer or over-zealous gallery guard.

Both Breckenridge's corporate aquariums and the ghostly banalities he fixes onto glass testify to the artificiality of the objects and phrases – but the gestures also call into question the entire category of “commonplace things", things so ubiquitous we have permission to ignore them. These and the spaces they populate, in all their artificiality, are not innocent simply because we do not notice them.