OMR is pleased to announce Troika's third solo presentation in the gallery, To See a World Through a Grain of Salt.
Untertage - from the German 'underneath the day' – is the title of an overarching narrative that Troika has been developing over the course of several years, which has resulted in various new bodies of work. The main protagonist of this story is salt, which is portrayed – in its many different guises – as a conscious entity that has manipulated humans over millennia to mine and raise it above ground, with its endgame being to establish its own kingdom from which to rule Earth.
Salt's manipulation first started millions of years ago by luring humans into unearthing it, in the form of flint, to give us our very first tools such as axes and bifaces. Then salt convinced us through its never-ending usefulness to spread it throughout the centuries all over the world by enabling us to preserve, to bleach, to build, to fertilise, to dye, and to trade. More recently, it made us discover its sensitivity to light, allowing us by way of photography to record, and thus control the land. By now, salt has become omnipresent in its more refined form – silicon, used in electronics and computing; and by extension it is now acquiring consciousness (AI) to dominate the planet and populate it with its own kind.
To See a World Through a Grain of Salt brings together three new series intertwined within the narrative of Untertage and each evidencing the cunningness of salt. Suspended from the ceiling are printed fabric drapes depicting salt crystal growth. Hung around the gallery walls are a series of RGB paintings Irma Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, that plays witness to the blossoming of salt and its crystals in our silicon era, where digital technologies have become the mediators of human understanding of the world. The paintings are elaborated using Troika's custom acrylic paint palette of 16 gradual colors of red, green and blues (48 colors in total), from dark to light. If downsampled – as computer vision sees in 256 shades of each – the palette very closely approximates computer colors, allowing a hi-fi paint version, bringing computer vision into painting through the process of emulating the gaze of omnipresent surveillance cameras recording events of natural disasters, in this case hurricanes. Finally, the story makes its first conclusion with the pieces displayed from the new series Evolutionary Composite, in which a flint biface is sustained against a silicon wafer, thereby metaphorically bridging millions of years in which salt has provided us with tools to control, domesticate and alter nature and our environment.
Text courtesy Troika and OMR, Mexico City.