Griefing 

Samuel Marion




Now I know again,
That I was the summer guest.
I was also the prisoner,
The pig
And the butcher,
And I promenaded along
Under the parasol.


Christoph Ransmayr, Resplendent Decline



Estrella presents Samuel Marion's first exhibition Griefing. The exhibition opens on April 28th, 2022, and remains on view through June 10th.

"Griefing," a term popularized by the video game Minecraft, refers to the deliberate destruction of property belonging to one's own team. Players known as Griefers are common within sandbox games that revolve around world-building, cooperative property stewardship, and self-governance.

Entering the gallery, one confronts an installation of 55 identically scaled paintings spawned indiscriminately throughout the space. Hinting at a sweeping scope of visual identities, the paintings seem to confuse their content for form: ultimately alienating the meaning of their shared utterance of the phrase "The Extremists" from one of provocation to complacency.

Occupying the second room are five landscape images UV printed on disfigured aluminum. In these works, Marion appropriates photographs produced by a former member of the 1970s militant leftist organization The Weather Underground. Long since the group's disintegration in 1979, the author of the images, now living under a pseudonym, has become an avid hobby landscape photographer, favoring compositions that depict excessively idyllic depictions of the American West. Rendered with a sentimentality that borders on the saccharine, these landscapes serve as a haunted expression of foreclosed utopian ambition: "What could have been" manages to seep through images that seem all but a celebration of "what is."

Expanding upon explorations in both moral economics and the pastoral, Marion utilizes both as a metonym for what could be considered the "knowledge of freedom." Rather than posit a practical position on its source material, the exhibition proceeds as an aesthetic exploration of when acceptance becomes imbricated in belief.

Following the exhibition's opening, a companion text, Poets, Other Assorted Losers, will be freely available at the gallery.



Text by Emma Pordige