Dana Kopel

25 June 2024

08:44 EDT

Daffy Scanlan and Chiara Ibrah: Toy Temple Human Monk
10 November, 2018–6 January, 2019
Lubov, New York

Auditorium filled by sulfuric odor. Confrontation of inner banners. Evidence of overturning baby-cells. Trash fire blurs free embers on the mat.

Meanwhile, Chiara Ibrah and Daffy Scanlan are bombarded by unrelenting apocalypse dreams. They see people trampled to death by shredding cleats, disintegrating during transportation, decrepit while weighing little. Plagued by visions of decay and rebirth, Scanlan and Ibrah give agency to the space that exists between these two extremes, creating a map by which the monk should navigate his toy temple. In doing so, they bombard viewers with the promise of a confrontation that someone traversing an unfamiliar landscape might endure. As if cracked over the head by an iron pipe, the viewer bears witness to a memory distilled from the artists’ nightmares, and must drag themself upon hands and knees through the metallic carnage that drapes the gallery space, punctuated by doom and beauty. The linearity of such a journey, however, remains obscured by abstraction—resolution shattering like shards of glass, glimmering sacredly to tantalize the viewer.

One feels obligated to approach the work skeptically, with the caution of someone that has tasted devastation. Flung inward by the inertia of solitude, one is forced to understand their own humanity through the scratched lens of the landscape swirling around them. 

—Daffy Scanlan and Chiara Ibrah