Charlie James Gallery presents Office Hour, Magdalena Kita’s first solo show at the gallery, featuring her latest multimedia project Californication. This series consists of a large collection of beach towels, drawings, performances, and television commercials produced in Los Angeles and Cologne over the last two years.
Using a broad formal language inspired by Byzantine icons, 90s-era Eastern Europe- an drug culture, the psychedelic-revolutionary aesthetics of the 70s, minimalism, and art brut, the towels and drawings function as Trojan horses for a wide range of sub- tle, complex, and quietly rebellious erotic motives. Kita continually experiments with methods of display to activate the towels objective purpose, having young sunbathers parade them at the seaside or down the main street of a small town, as well as using them in gallery contexts and as part of performances in art institutions.
The explicit imagery is mostly a trap for viewers accustomed to stereotypical representations of the female body. Kita intends for her work to continually infect new contexts like a virus, playfully manipulating identity, autobiography and historical truth to influence her audience.
Kita is currently working with advertising professionals to film a series of 15-second commercials for Californication, which borrow retail advertising’s language and formal style while subverting the art industry’s own promotional methods. In these videos, the erotic towels are displayed in everyday relationship situations, such as a young family enjoying a visit to the beach. A catalogue of the Californication series, including eight comissioned essays, will be published by Snoeck later this year.
Magdalena Kita (born 1983, Debica, Poland) is based in Cologne, Germany.
She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and the Kunsthochschule Kassel, completing her diploma with Rita McBride at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She co-founded the Congress, a semi-fictional international womens’ organization and sustained live-art project, which dissolved in 2012. Kita’s solo presentations this year include Bruce Haines Mayfair, London and Prince of Wales, Munich, following a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in 2015, parallel to Rita McBride’s exhibition ‘Public Tilt’.
Charlie James Gallery
June 4 – July 16, 2016
969 Chung King Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012