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Ode to A Void

Studio 10, Brooklyn, NY 


3_Ode to A Void


In Ode to A Void, Ron Baron delivers a deeply felt experience of human absence in a new installation of exquisite subtlety. Inside a darkened room lit only by four carefully calibrated spotlights, a large spiral path of particulate matter stretches quietly across the gallery floor. Placed rhythmically atop the sand-like substance, its speckled white surface glinting in the bright discs of light, dozens of pairs of ceramic shoes circle inward toward the spiral’s center. Most of them matte white like the dust they sit on (bisque-fired, they’ve been left unfinished by a final pass through the kiln), the shoes’ interiors are painted a light-devouring black. Slip-cast from shoes Baron collected from thrift stores, each pair bears the imprint of the anonymous life once lived in it. (Except when it doesn’t; in one particularly moving instance, a pristine pair of children’s ice skates looks as if it was never worn.) Threadbare slippers, work boots, ballet shoes and high heels stand alongside weathered cowboy boots, sneakers, men’s loafers and baby shoes. Like so many empty vessels that have outlived their purpose, the shoes march in a silent procession toward the vanishing point in the center. Hauntingly beautiful and rich in associative resonance, the piece eviscerates the abstraction and lodges it right in the bones. 

Taney Roniger, 2018

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