To inaugurate the fall season, CRUSHCURATORIAL and artist Matthew Morrocco will debut a four-part exhibition series which opens to the public on September 6.
ORCHID.seasons presents an ambitious new body of work by artist Matthew Morrocco, best-known for his erotic self-portraits with older men, which deconstructs the role of marginalized bodies across social, financial, and queer economies of being. The series features Morrocco posing in a variety of monochromatic body suits set in lush natural landscapes. These suits obscure his identity and represent the colors that comprise the spectrum of visible light: red, green, blue, orange, yellow, violet. Whereas his earlier bodies of work court and complicate cultural narratives about queer identity and sexuality, this new series denies the viewer a particularized queer body, obscuring Morrocco beneath the suits — each representing a color from the spectrum of visible light. Morrocco's body suit allows him to be present but undetectable, known if also imperceptible.
ORCHID.seasons complicates the relationship between photography, the marginalized body, and cultural and monetary economies. Through a complex form of data exchange, cryptocurrencies serve many functions beyond holding monetary value. Blockchain technology enables the execution of contracts, the documentation of provenance, and the verification of authenticity — the technology behind blockchain goes so far as to facilitate political and social procedure such as voting. Morrocco’s appropriation of the title, ORCHID, an eponymous cryptocurrency which completely anonymizes a user’s internet experience, highlights how queerness today—and the particular kind of anonymity that began with the internet boom in the 1990s—are inextricably linked to these new modes of technology. His purposeful assumption of anonymity therefore scrutinizes subjectivity and highlights that the body, sexuality, and gender are similarly subject to commodification, valuation, and exchange. The artist's eradication of identity through the adoption of monochrome bodysuits also references the science of vision, breaking down color photography into its core component: the rainbow spectrum of visible light.
Given Morrocco’s interest in unpacking conventional cultural practices, the show will employ a pioneering “capsule” schedule, with four 10-day exhibitions coinciding with seasonal changes — a patent divergence from the typical month-long gallery exhibition model. In choosing to have four shows coinciding with the seasons, Morrocco plays with codified methods of showcasing art, sets his own rhythm for showcasing his work, and reinforces the work’s relationship to the fleeting nature of light and the ephemerality time, which together comprise photography’s essential components. For ORCHID.seasons, the gallery space will function as a site of cyclical, seasonal renewal.
The exhibition will be on view at CRUSHCURATORIAL from September 6 through 15, with an opening reception taking place on September 6 from 6 to 9pm. Exclusive seasonal content will be available via the gallery and artist’s digital platforms. Join the conversation via @crushcuratorial and @matthew_morrocco.