ASHES/ASHES is pleased to present Ruin Pleasure, a solo exhibition by Luke Libera Moore. The exhibition will be on view May 17–June 23, 2019, with an opening reception Friday, May 17th, from 6–8 PM.
“I’m a real glutton for tragedy,” he said, momentarily looking up at me before returning to his frenzied search. His frail arms dug through quiet spills of junk strewn across his workshop. Distant windows trickled more distant light; the air was damp with the subtle scent of petroleum distillates. A large table to my left displayed the shattered remnants of a sculptural tableau, its disorder felt ominous like the violent sandbox fantasies of a misanthropic child.
“But you see, any and all forms of difference crumble in Time—you know, entropy,” he declared with self-satisfied erudition, and then shifted his attention to another vast pile of collected debris. 

I noticed that every ambiguous item he picked up and inspected seemed to oscillate constantly between a toy and a weapon.
“I mean, stasis is the ultimate end of everything: the Image just expedites the process.”
The old man’s ramblings had become more disjointed over the past hour. It was obvious that he hadn’t shared his space or his thoughts with another sentient being for quite some time.
“Ah-ha!” he shouted gleefully, “Here it is! My answer, our answer.”
Turning towards me with both arms outstretched, he held what, from my distance, appeared to be just another fragment—but as he seemed to float towards me, its particularity came into focus.
“It looks like one of those big old cameras,” I said.
“Yes, but this one is very special. It has a far grander purpose—one that even a world filled with cameras couldn’t achieve.” His eyes beamed earnestly.
“What’s that?” I asked with trepidation.
“You see, when this shutter is released,” he paused and clicked a rusty button on the object’s face, initiating a tiny digital clock, which rapidly counted down, “that is to say…detonated, the energy released is powerful enough to turn the entire world into an image. One enormous flash and we are instantly liberated into the shadows of ourselves. Just think: every living thing, every grain of pollen, drop of water—everything from every angle—compressed into a single image, a meta-image—made still and totally flattened—all difference: neutralized, all tensions: resolved, all time: concluded.”
I shifted my weight uncomfortably.
“Don’t you see? This is what we’ve all been working towards since 1835! No, since long before that! This is redemption: our heinous world finally become image! Pure abstraction—the eradication of all suffering and strife.”
Realizing that silence wasn’t an option, I spat out a reply: “What about the way that air tastes in my lungs after a thunder storm?”
He narrowed his eyes and stared me down with condescension.
“Pure image relieves us of all burden—freed from the arduous process of time and the embarrassment of history.”
“But the image is only ever an impoverished experience—it is the impoverishment of experience—“
“Young fool! Corporeality is the domain of disappointment. The glory of the Picturesque is that it renders matter as it should be, that is: destroyed. The image is transcendent—you must see!”
We both suddenly renewed our attention to the ticking clock, its dim red light pulsed an oddly soothing glow.
“You will see.”
Luke Libera Moore (born 1990; Yonkers, NY) received an MFA in Photography from Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT) and a BFA from The Cooper Union (New York, NY). This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery. The artist lives and works in The Bronx, NY.