Austin Martin White: Last Dance
Last Dance is a solo exhibition by the American artist Austin Martin White, which showcases his radiant large-scale paintings and drawing, depicting the ecstasy at the end of history. The exhibition explores the intricate relationship between post-industrial space and club culture, colonialism, and the material the 1984-born painter used to shape his images: rubber.
The artist transforms these visual fragments of racialized fantasy and violence through a unique process, a process of layering mechanical compression and massively extruded relief paintings. In successive crises of Western domination, forms have been provided for slippage beyond the control regime.
Stress and release are the constitutive forces of the exhibition. The pieces began as digital base maps he constructed from colonial-era imagery, which he then flattened into bare digital schematics. The resulting composition was coated on fabric, which was fed through the barrel of a modified vinyl cutter. A technology designed to cut plastic was transformed into a drawing device whose razor pens were swapped for holding pens and markers.
His work is incredibly intricate, marking the machine's frantic computerized paths into clusters of grooves that wear out as ballpoint pens become dull and markers tattered. These kaleidoscopic images erode the plausible stability of their images of European origin, undermining visual strategies designed to dehumanize black and indigenous civilizations into flattened stereotypes.