Brandon Ndife: MY ZONE @ Bureau20.03.2020
Bureau is thrilled to present MY ZONE, Brandon Ndife’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. MY ZONE features a suite of floor and wall-based sculptures composed from built furniture units overrun with abundant decay. Drawers and cabinets reveal cast vegetal forms and decomposed dioramic landscapes. The artist conjures environments where the familiar has become host to a new life or may be in the process of a terrific metamorphosis. Ndife’s work aptly offers an unsettlingly beautiful vision of post-disaster regrowth.
I don’t like my brother but I love him. Do you know what I mean?
My workshop is in our basement. The game doesn’t really allow you to experience it thank god because it’s MY ZONE and no one else’s, this is where I go to dissociate, which is why the interior is spare (surprising for a furniture shop? Maybe.) Papyrus has a “cool tool shed” with no tools inside.
My work zone is fastidious. Though when it comes to the rest of our shared house, I’m a fucking mess. I don’t get it. If I were inherently messy that would be one thing––then I’d be messy everywhere––but if I’m selectively capable of cleanliness….
I try so hard to keep the house clean, I feel like I’m always cleaning it, but then an NPC drops in to borrow the contents of one of my drawers and one of my literal socks is in the living room covered in sticky notes from Papyrus (my brother) saying CLEAN UP THIS FRICKING SOCK! And I’m like,ha ha….
If I could find the part of myself that wanted and felt deserving of this shame I would rip it out.
I’m bundling preserved wood in saran wrap for a client, drinking ketchup and chilling, when Papyrus comes in and asks if I want spaghetti. His whole thing is that he’s never eaten spaghetti before but makes it obsessively because spaghetti is a food that people like. He’s a people pleaser, he can’t help it. To his shame. That’s not true. He is incapable of shame. It’s kind of amazing honestly. Though also unfathomable. The life of an alien. My brother the anatomically inaccurate skeleton with nonetheless expressive eyebrows, wearing boots, a backwards baseball cap, a cape, in love with his capacity to make offerings to the world. Which is why all our furniture doubles as a food production resource. He believes in others just as much as he believes in himself. I am adding, like, this giant wart to the inside of this cabinet. I’m never in the right relation to my own unhappiness and you can tell that, I think, from the plastic white tray thing-y that is being gummed by the ossified goop inside.
Because we are brothers I am his opposite: grumpy and a massive bitch, not feeling it though sometimes I want to, though I would defend the right to not feel it sometimes. That’s why I (I’m also a skeleton) dress the way I do: unzipped blue hoodie, socks, paunch, bedroom slippers, t-shirt.
The voice of the cabinet itself breaks suddenly through the basement’s sonic realm. Audio waves of the cabinet’s voice. Vibrating.
HELLO, I AM THE CABINET.
We wait for our cabinets to speak, and––this is what they tell us? Well, what else did you want them to say?
The cabinet––which does, in fact, have further thoughts––decides that like, honestly? I’d rather not share
Brandon Ndife (b. 1991 Hammond, IN) lives and works in Jersey City, NJ. He received a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: Minor twin worlds with Diane Severin Nguyen, Bureau, New York; Ties That Bind, Shoot the Lobster, New York; Just Passin’ Thru, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; Meanderthal, Species, Atlanta. Recent group exhibitions include Fixing the “not… but”, LC Queisser, Tbilisi; Backgrounds, Carl Louie, Toronto; Dinner that night, Bureau, New York.