Continuing the lo-fi aesthetic of their latest exhibit, CutGlueFold, Axle Contemporary presents The Flatfile Show, a paper-driven curatorial experiment that shines a spotlight on the most basic of mediums.
"It's really exciting because it's the first time we've done it," the mobile gallery's co-director Jerry Wellman tells SFR.
Featuring a flat file map drawer as its centerpiece, the show weighs in at over 20 artists and 100 pieces strong, an amount that Wellman says would have been off the table had they considered any other format.
Though the show features a cast of handpicked artists from Axle's two-plus-year history, Wellman is quick to point out that it's in no way a greatest hits exhibit. "It's more random than that. All the people we've shown are deserving artists, so I would hate to say that."
He also explains that paper is a strong mainstay among high-profile collections in countries like Japan, where collectors have the option of switching art on their walls seasonally.
"I like it because it's slightly archaic, sort of like a manual typewriter," Axle's other business half, Matthew Chase-Daniel, says of the ubiquitous medium.
Expectations for placemat doodles should be left at the door. Pieces like Eve Andree Laramee's toss away the notion of foldaway art and replace it with a distinct point of view that takes off at the intersection of art, nature and science.
"I'm interested in systems and how they interconnect—the way our thoughts are systems, for example—and also natural systems like erosion, the way caves form and climate patterns," Laramee, who splits her time between Brooklyn and Santa Fe, says.
An avid map collector, she also finds inspiration in cartography.
"I started working on them as a kind of relief from my more research-heavy installation projects," Laramee explains, adding that she often employs dots or diamond-shapes to hide or heighten certain aspects within maps, which she describes as "conceptual packets of information."
“It’s almost like an editorial process,” she says. “It feels like I’m writing poetry by erasing parts of maps and enhancing others.”
Selected Works on Paper: The Flatfile Show: Aug. 28-Sept. 9. Free. Axle Contemporary, Railyard Shade Structure, S Guadalupe St. and Paseo de Peralta, 670-7612