The Mole King
Monte Clark is pleased to present an online viewing room for Roy Arden’s body of work, The Mole King
Roy Arden’s The Mole King speaks to the agency of the natural world, their confrontation and co-mingling with human-made forces. Arden’s work includes experimental cyanotypes and hanging assemblages constructed with plant roots, wire, and found objects. All of the works hover between depiction and allegory.
Arden’s cyanotype prints focus on plant roots and small objects seen as if underground by an archeologist’s or metal detectorist’s mind’s eye. Roots collected along West Coast beaches leave their silhouettes of lightning-like growth patterns: we see the will of the tendrils pushing downward and then changing direction in reaction to resistance. Soil and micro-organisms have been replaced with man-made litter such as buttons, can tabs, and nails entangled in the root forms recognizing that we have entered in the Anthropocene. A series of these images is printed on the insides of used packaging materials such as medicines or frozen waffles. The shapes of these unfolded boxes were never meant to be considered as they are, but to disappear into the more familiar cuboids that deliver our consumables. The hanging assemblages again depict the underworld — the viewer finds themselves beneath the gnarled roots, stones, and rusty fragments.
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