Death drives; the Freudian notion characterizes the desire for self-destruction via behaviors such as compulsive repetitiveness and aggression. In Luke Libera Moore’s second solo show, God-Chunk : Chrono-Plex, at ASHES/ASHES in the Lower East Side of New York City, his meticulous yet painful sculptures carry a similar masochistic weight. Recurring motifs from Moore’s photographic practice, a much-needed expansive approach to the medium, add another layer of depth to his sculptural exploration. Perforated grids, marbled Breccia cracks, rippled textures, and fisheye perspectives create a distorted visual language. This deliberate manipulation mirrors the inherent subjectivity and opaqueness of seeing/not-seeing.
For two years, Moore diligently constructed these five sculptures with near mathematical precision and overwhelming attention to texture. Controlled and restrained, his meticulously crafted sculptures form layers — perfect fits that create symmetrical frames. Arcane Resonance Sequencer (Chrono-Collider) is a rhythmic gesture to prayer beads or, maybe, an abacus. Nostalgia Console (Rose-Tinted Regression) functions as it sounds — the whir from the motorized swirl is as hypnotic as nostalgia itself. It feels and looks too good to leave.
It would be remiss to deem Moore’s “weird earthen spaceships” simply as relics — that would preclude the crux of the exhibition. The exacting nature and materiality of Moore’s sculptures point towards a reactionary limbo state of Belief and Unbelief in a post-humanist, technophilic world plagued with unrelenting “progress”. Or as Moore writes: “Too much world.” It’s precisely in this moment between Belief and Unbelief where Moore reaches a damning prophecy in his meditation.
As doom-core as God-Chunk : Chrono-Plex appears to be, there’s a glimmer of hope beneath all the endless chaos. For Moore, stillness comes bead by bead, grid by grid. In that, the materiality of the universe is charged with significance and rituals even an atheist and nihilist cannot deny.