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Review: Jedediah Caesar walks the line between organic, artificial

By Sharon Mizota

8:00 PM EDT, May 9, 2013

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Jedediah Caesar’s latest sculptures look like slices of some dense, strangely flavored torte. Each stands on edge directly on the floor, listing a bit, not quite achieving the perfection of a triangle. Still, scattered across the gallery at Susanne Vielmetter, they form a miniature geometric landscape.

Caesar has continually toed the line between the fabricated and the organic. His cubes of human-made detritus encased in resin were a kind of geological record of advanced capitalism. Here, the component parts are less obvious, indicated by titles that list the scientific names of minerals, metals and spices.

Perhaps the spices account for the culinary vibe, but cookery is not a bad metaphor for Caesar’s brand of sculpture, in which the “organic” and “raw” meet science and gadgets.

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This intersection appears again in a suite of photographs: close-ups of the rocky ground of the Hauser Geode Beds in the Mojave Desert. Caesar placed handmade objects — smooth discs of a material that could be stone or clay — amid the rocks and snapped their portraits.

But their presence is not the only intrusion. The images themselves have been doctored so that in some cases a single rock repeats across the surface, almost but not quite blending into the pebbly terrain. The entire image could be an utter fabrication, suggesting that the line between the organic and the artificial is hardly natural.

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 837-2117, through May 25. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.vielmetter.com

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