. You’re in good hands with Allstate (don’t worry, as a title this doesn’t make sense even to me)
I’LL BE YOUR MIRROR
March 17, 2012 – April 15, 2012
Opening reception March, 17,2012 – From 7pm – 10pm
Hannah Greely, Doug, 2004, polyester resin, paint, glue, dirt, 3 x 3 x 9 inches.
Courtesy of the artist and Bernier/Eliades Gallery Athens
Artists in exhibition include:
Slater Bradley, Juan William Chavez, Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson, Jay Erker, Gunther Herbst, Pablo Helguera, Hannah Greely, Robert Goetz, Charles Ray, Darren Harvey-Regan, B.J. Vogt.
Curated by: Daniel McGrath.
Nico belted out: “I’ll be your mirror” in the eponymous Velvet Underground song, and continued by promising to “reflect what you are in case you don’t know.” When Nico made the offhand offer: ” Lou, I’ll be your mirror” to songwriter Lou Reed, she inspired the formation of an iconic rock lullaby. It was a gesture that quickly turned sour. Recording the song, Nico broke into tears after repeated bullying from the rest of the band, before she achieved the correct deadpan pitch. Indeed, the Teutonic chanteuse and Lou Reed fell out soon after, although the band’s replacement singer for Nico uncannily imitated her unique performance for many years. In turn, the album “The Velvet Underground & Nico” endlessly emulated by adoring punk, indie, new wave and goth bands, has become a mirror that refracts endlessly through the decades inspiring generations of musicians.
The exhibition I’ll Be Your Mirror explores the condition of mimicry and the appearance of the doppelganger. The double, look-a-like, impersonator and mimic all hold a capacity to destabilize us on a deep-seated level. They can be a harbinger of evil, but also have been rendered as a being of benign reassurance. Under the analytical eye of visual artists, the idea of the double or doubling can drive us to contemplate our very humanity. For example, a celebrity becomes a mirror for a set of yearnings, neuroses and libidinal flows; the mask of their fame –a surface reflecting back our grainy quotidian reality with a glossy sheen. Conversely, the antics of a double can shatter this mirror, revealing what we truly are.
This exhibition explores a variety of mirrored selves, doubles and doppelgangers Charles Ray’s photographs: Most Beautiful Woman in The World, 1993, depicting model Tatjana Patitz, constitutes a sly retake of Ray Charles performance of “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” and the vexing confusion of identities that dogged references of the sculptor during the early period of his career. (Try to Google the two names even today!) Slater Bradley’s doppelganger, and artistic collaborator, Benjamin Brock’s, In Dark Night of the Soul, 2005 steps through the Natural History Museum New York in a space suit carrying a music box, playing Beethoven’s emotive Moonlight Sonata. B.J.Vogt has a more slapstick rendition of sibling rivalry, near identical beings that may look similar, but ultimately have separate destinies. The two figures begin to resemble each other and resent the other’s presence. What I hope emerges through I’ll Be Your Mirror is a multiplying reflection, an infinite mirror that leads precisely to the murky deep of the unconscious mind. –Daniel McGrath
Daniel McGrath is an adjunct professor in the art department at Webster University and University of Missouri St. Louis in St. Louis. In 2005, he received his Master of Arts from King’s College London – University of London. He is co-director of Isolation Room/Gallery Kit. He is a contributing art writer for Art Papers, Art US and St. Louis Magazine. McGrath lives and works between Oxford, United Kingdom and St. Louis, Missouri.
Leaving Monte Vista, next stop St. Louis, MO.
Isolation Room/Gallery Kit
You have all heard the stern admonition from supervisors or lifestyle gurus that we must: “Think outside the box” to get on in work and in life. But of course we know boxes are infinitely useful. Sit on them individually as chairs, stack up a few boxes we have a table, open the tops and turn them on their side we have book shelves. As well as storing ordinary things, you can also use boxes as shelter, drawing surfaces, costumes and re-cut the cardboard into sculptures or vast stage sets: A child may even prefer the large box the toy came in to the plastic toy because the container allows the imagination to transport into other worlds. Instead of delivering a preprogrammed experience the carton becomes- in the hands of the child- an airplane, an army base or a ship.
In the case of Isolation Room the box is the 7’ x 7’x 9’ Gallery Kit (2010) which occupies a dining room plus a carefully selected drawing, painting or sculpture. The kit can be built in any existing interior space at minimal cost ‘DIY’. It is just big enough to fit in a few visitors to contemplate the beauty within and includes its own track lighting system. The gallery kit re-imagines the ideal integration between art and life: as such it is also a perfect unregistered non-profit art space. As an owner the space is as public or private as desired and the hours are by appointment. As a visitor, if you tire of the interior of the gallery and the art, you can sit down outside in the living room and rest your feet. You can have a chat with the kit owner and have a glass of wine or watch TV shows- the discussions are always a highlight. Then you can wander off into the back garden and have a smoke if you like, which to be candid, is the reason you probably agreed to show up in the first place. It’s an ideal for living.
Started in July 2010, Isolation Room is an evolving project that will focus on one artwork per exhibition cycle. Each piece will be placed in a physical state of quarantine, situated in a modular viewing space inviting an extended period of contemplation. Building on an ongoing interest in containment, the constructed room allows for the smallest possible collaboration between the gallery space, curator, artist and audience. At its core one work stands in isolation. This is also an opportunity to protect work from a forced theme, loose contextualization or commercial exploitation. By placing the individual piece as a subject in isolation the work is then encouraged to exist and be perceived from an aesthetic standpoint.
practice, she has worked independently on educational projects as well as curated shows of contemporary artists; also recently working for organisations including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Archive, as a researcher and writer, developing an expertise in Modernism, Post Modernism and Contemporary Art practice. Rebecca is currently pursuing her PhD in Art History/Curating at Goldsmiths College London.
Daniel McGrathis an adjunct professor in the art department at Webster University in St. Louis. In 2005, he received his Master of Arts from Kings College – University of London. In 2000, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from UCLA. He is co-director of Isolation Room/Gallery Kit, was co-director of Sweetboy Projects in Los Angeles and has organized exhibitions in St. Louis and the United Kingdom. He is a contributing art writer for Art US, Review Magazine and St. Louis Magazine. He has published essays on the work of Korean artist Fi Jae Lee, local painter Jaime Adams, and book reviews for the Imperial War Museum in London. He has exhibited his work at Hunter College MFA Studios, New York; Office Space, Los Angeles; SweetboyProjects, Los Angeles; Pirate, Burford, UK; PSTL, St. Louis; and the Hunt Gallery, St. Louis. He lives and works between Oxford, United Kingdom and St. Louis, Missouri.
Dana Turkovic is Curator of Exhibitions at Laumeier Sculpture Park. She is also an adjunct professor in the art department at Webster University. In 2005, she received her Master of Arts from Goldsmiths College – University of London in curatorial studies. Though she spent many years as the senior designer for the UCLA Hammer Museum, she has turned her attention to creative curatorial endeavors. She has organized exhibitions in Los Angeles at Monte Vista Projects in alternative spaces in London and Oxford in the United Kingdom and in St. Louis at the Contemporary Art Museum, Boots Contemporary Art Space, Ellen Curlee Gallery, White Flag Projects and Schmidt Contemporary Art. She has written for publications such as Art US and Review Magazine. She lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.
AH.WELL. MARCH, NOT APRIL. The gallery kit makes me think of Alice Koenitz’ LAMuseumofArt, right? Also, Eve Reuther told me today about a thesis show (Chris Coy, USC 2012) that employed a smaller built gallery within SC’s giant space. Coy’s project might have been more specifically fantastical – or so I understood/misunderstood from talking with Eve. On the other hand, I believe myself to be calenderically on point in my next prognostication. (Or not, I’m batting about nothing this week. How about you?)
aND THEN,(in the spirit of Nico, herself)
mAINLINING cANDY aFTER dOING dRUGS,
oN fRIDAY, aPRIL 27, 8:30 TO 10:30 pm,
kATE gILBERT, ej hILL AND aLISE sPINELLA aRE eACH pERFORMING eNTIRELY nEW wORK. yAY.
bE THERE aND bE sQUARE
(because who really wants to be round?)
The driving force behind exhibitions above (purported) Rastafarian Dental offices Latned Atsar is opening on Saturday, April 28 with:
curated by Lily Siegel
Joey Lehman Morris
If on some nameless island Captain Schmidt
Sees a new animal and captures it,
And if, a little later, Captain Smith
Brings back a skin, that island is no myth.
-John Francis Shade
(Isn’t that Latned layout badass?)
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT IRVINE IS OPENING TO US ALL ITS HEART AND LEFTOVER WOUNDS (psychic and physic) FROM THE BATTLES OF ALCHEMICAL PEDAGOGY. WHEW.