’Security Landscapes’ – Patricia L. Boyd, Tobias Madison, Julia Scher, Leslie Thornton
Co-curated with Maika Pollack (Southfirst, New York)
under the artistic direction of Jamie Stevens (Artists Space, New York).
Images 001 – 018 by Simon Vogel
All images Courtesy of DREI, Cologne
We are thrilled to present an exhibition of work by Patricia L. Boyd, Tobias Madison, Julia Scher and Leslie Thornton. Co-curated with Maika Pollack (Southfirst, New York) and under the artistic direction of Jamie Stevens (Artists Space, New York), the exhibition takes place in the course of Okey Dokey II.
The exhibition title ’Security Landscapes’ refers to an assemblage work by Julia Scher in which surveillance devices – a cameras and a mini-monitor – have been mounted on the frame of a monochrome pink area, accompanied by and connected to a knife stabbed into the wall therebeside and forming a hybrid of forms and objects and giving a perfect example for the shifts and transformations within the “DNA” of four centuries of career and the idea of a family-like complex system of relations and reincarnation (Security Landscape of the Year, 2002). Rhine Race (1981) can be taken as a reference to the migration the artist undertook herself many years ago. The unsteady flying sports car over a landscape which is specified only by the work’s title and the view from the artist’s studio windows, reminds us of the DeLorean DMC-12 travelling through time and space in the ‘Back To The Future’ movies (1985 – 1990).
”Hybrids” can also be found in Tobias Madison’s Dream House NYC (2018), a series of 16 photographs in which two young models (the older aged 13) look at each other and themselves through the lens of a camera. Recorded on a 35mm Infrared film which the artist previously exposed with images of his car’s motor and formal studies of the Dream House’s interior, several double exposures appeared and form an important part of the series. The image of a young model taking a selfie through a Toyota Prius motor is an image that exists within separate tropes of marketing the self, or marketing a car that you’re trying to sell. The title refers to an allegorical space the artist created in his room after The Dream House, a sound and light installation established by Marianne Zazeela and La Monte Young in 1993 which since then has become a place of inner retreat in the heart of New York’s financial district.
Patricia L. Boyd’s video Carl dis/assembling w/ self (2013) also hands the task of recording on to the subject—here Carl, an amateur mechanic, who takes up the camera and films histask of building then disassembling a Dodge truck engine. Does this action grant him agency, or is he internalizing the remote self-surveillance of the workplace? The video was produced for Channel 4 TV and premiered as a broadcast just before the Super Bowl, a context which underscores its relationship to the spectacular performance of masculinity. The video is accompanied by two untitled photographs from an ongoing series of photographs of front door peepholes. The series’ tight focus on the peephole suggests the security device as a kind of lens visually connecting interior and exterior, rendering by extension the apartment itself as a kind of camera. The work evokes Duchamp’s iconic use of the spyhole as a means to focus on the (male) viewer’s gender and phenomenological subjectivity.
Leslie Thornton’s seminal short film Jennifer, Where are You? (1981) also shows a young subject—here a young girl. As she performs for the camera, messily applying red lipstick and literally playing with matches, we hear a man’s voice off-camera calling her name in structurally sequenced sound edits which perhaps suggest and critique the patriarchal nature of structural cinema. The child is internalizing the male gaze on camera, and seems to become a self-aware and self-conscious subject, both resistant to the gaze and complicit with it, before our eyes—the process is both grotesque and riveting.
Patricia L. Boyd (*1980, London) lives and works in New York. Boyd’s work was most recently part of exhibitions at Secession, Vienna; CCS Bard / Hessel Museum of Art, New York; and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Her solo exhibition “Operator” appeared at 80WSE, New York, in 2017. She currently has a solo exhibition at 1856 Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne, and an upcoming solo exhibition at Front Desk Apparatus, New York. Her work was recently the subject of an article in Artforum.
Tobias Madison (*1985, Basel) lives and works in New York. He graduated at the University of the Arts, Zurich, in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include: Svetlana, New York; The Modern Institute, Glasgow; MoMA PS1, New York; Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover; Galerie Francesca Pia, Zurich; Frieze Projects, Frieze London, and Freedman Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles a.o.. The artist furthermore recently contributed to exhibitions at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Le Consortium, Dijon, France a.o.. His works belong to the collections of the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburg; Kunsthaus Zurich and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is a recipient of the Swiss Art Award.
Julia Scher (*1954, Los Angeles) lives and works in Cologne where she holds a professorship in Multimedia Performance & Surveillant Architectures at the Kunsthochschule für Medien (KHM). Before her most recent project ’I’ll Be Gentle, No Consent’ at our gallery (summer 2018), Scher staged solo exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA); Fri-Art Centre d’Art Contemporain Kunsthalle, Fribourg, Switzerland (two-person exhibition with Vanessa Beecroft); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Wexner Center, Columbus a.o. She is currently contributing to ’The Conditions of Being Art: Pat Hearn Gallery and American Fine Arts, Co. (1983-2004)’, on view until December 14, 2018 at the Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS) Bard / Hessel Museum of Art, New York. Later this year will see a solo exhibition of hers at Esther Schipper Galerie, Berlin. Works by Julia Scher have been included in public collections such as the Neue Galerie Graz, Austria; the Guggenheim Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art, both New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA), San Francisco; and the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva, Switzerland a.o.
Leslie Thornton (*1951, Knoxville, United States) lives and works in New York. Her films were the recent subject of a retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2017). Her work with James Richards, Crossing (2016), was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and opens in September at the Vienna Secession, and their new commission Speed (2018) is currently on view at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart and will show at Malmö Konsthall, which co-commissioned the work, in March. A book, EVENT, was recently published by the Vienna Secession (2018), to accompany her installation currently on view there. She was recently featured in an interview on Frieze online with Dan Kidner. Her solo show is upcoming at Rodeo Gallery, London, in November 2018.