Anyone who has dined in a well-known fast food restaurant and thought their food tasted remarkably like the box it came in will find a connection to Roxy Paine’s wooden replica Carcass – part of grand-scale two part installation, Apparatus – although that would be missing the New York artist’s point a bit. Not a critique on the merits of franchised French fries, Paine’s large scale diorama is more a meditation on the obsolescence of functional objects when human interaction is removed.
The second of the two pieces, an empty control room (more literal in its title: Control Room), illustrates this with an eerie sense of abandonment. Known for his work sculpting smaller natural objects such as funghi from wood, this project represents something of a change in tack for Paine, although wood (in this case maple and birch) remains a primary material along with steel. The conflict of natural and man-made is another important aspect of Apparatus, which is on show at Chicago’s Kavi Gupta Gallery until 20 December.