"materiality as a metaphor for expanded ideas of work and how these ideas relate to the present condition of cultural production"
Paul Sietsema gained his career traction via his 16mm film works which reiterated an aesthetic that treated the industrial as a kind of archival, archeological detrius. In this Matthew Marks show, the new body of ideas are less filmic and more object driven, in the form of drawings and paintings that take on a distinct photographic quality.The preceding quote by the artist presents for consideration the thought that Sietsema's rigorous process is a key aspect of the identity of his work.
The word "production" is what stuck in my my mind when viewing collages that oscillates between works on paper, sculpture and painting in a highly mindful way. It is not that there's strain and exertion depicted here but it is clear that there is layer upon layer of process in converting sagging panels of newspaper and intensely detailed ink drawings to a kind of ethnographic cultural residue....industrial rubble if you will .
This Sietsema collection of images leaves you with the elegiac thought that in a digital era the industrial is doomed to the romance of nostalgia. The clarity with which the relationship of idea to object is explored in this show proves that Sietsema's command of cultural production is perfectly synched with the age of instant obsolescence in which we live.