Object and Thing
Independent Fair, NYC
Do materials have agency? Should we think of matter as “vibrant,” as the theorist Jane Bennett has suggested, enacting change in the world through its inherent qualities? These are big questions, which the Toronto-based artist Kara Hamilton condenses into small packages. Operating both as a sculptor and a jeweler, she uses a combination of found and forged elements, often juxtaposing the valuable and the cast-aside. Each of her compositions seems to have its own internal economy. Each component is drained of its obvious meaning and then re-scripted through juxtaposition. Crushed metal weirdly echoes a seashell; dissimilar links connect in a single chain; a rosary is disrupted by a cascade of baroque curvature. Hamilton’s methods are intuitive yet precise, a stream of consciousness in which each phrase rings out, loud and clear.