Caspar Heinemann at Cabinet – Artforum International

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The irreverence of Caspar Heinemann’s exhibition “Glorie” is encapsulated by the title of a paper chain strung diagonally overhead like bunting, a formal allusion to fisting: And I’ve taken other guys there, too And it’s realer and more important to me than your world That’s all, 2022. A similar tone pulses through Novelty Theory, Heinemann’s 2019 poetry collection. (“Destroy purity but leave a droplet behind to thrive / to make sure you’ve really destroyed purity.”) This publication sits on the front desk alongside Free Files, 2022, a handful of emery boards inside a tin of Huberd’s Shoe Grease, used by the bootlicking leather-fetish community as a body-safe lubricant. The polish can also be found smeared around the entrances to Glorie #1#9, 2022, a series of bird boxes that double as glory holes. Reminiscent of Mike Kelley’s Catholic Birdhouse, 1978, they must have been a pleasure to make. Handcrafted from recycled cardboard packages, the objects come with string, wood, tape, dental floss, and white acrylic paint put to both constructive and decorative ends.

In the darkened basement, Festival of Light, 2022, fills the space with a chapel-like glow, thanks to eight electric fireplaces installed with their backs against the walls. The artificial fires hint at the communal warmth of bathhouses and at the conjoined fuel and cost-of-living crises. As my eyes slowly adjust, they are drawn to plugs and extension cables, then back to the flames. The holes on the ground floor and the warmth produced downstairs fuse notions of holiness with acts of hospitality.

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