Spectators, Rendered and Regulated: Tyler Coburn, Tim Davis, Nicole Eisenman, Anoka Faruqee, Cameron Keith Gainer, Arnold Joseph Kemp, Josh Kline, Brandon Lattu, Hayal Pozanti, Miljohn Ruperto & Ulrik Heltoft (list in formation)…
On September 12, Leo Koenig Inc. will reopen as Koenig & Clinton in its new gallery space on 19th Street with the inaugural exhibition, Spectators, Rendered and Regulated.
Over the past few years, gallery goers have witnessed an increasing fixation on abstraction in New York and beyond. While one might attribute this attention to a post-2008 (readcommercial) demand for unique artworks, a strictly economic narrative would be incomplete. Prioritizing market value fails to account for a wide range of aesthetic approaches. It also hinders a broader examination of the circumstances that have whet the appetite.
This current wave of formal abstraction, particularly in painting, is largely ahistorical and curiously amnesiac. Running parallel to abstraction’s recent ascendancy is the rapid outcropping of depictive screen images: on televisions, on computers, on mobile phones. In addition to the manipulations afforded by digital post-production over the past two decades, the realm of photography has recently undergone radical ‘democratization’ via handheld devices - so much so that one might be persuaded to agree with the (often misinterpreted) statement by Joseph Beuys: “Everyone is an artist.” Perhaps we are. Hot on the trail of technical obsolescence, a newfangled mass culture rises. Are the non-depictive canvases of high art compensating for the depictive saturation of popular images?
Trading her track pad for wood panels, Hayal Ponzanti’s textured paintings lure somatic and visual responses equally. Meanwhile, Anoka Faruqee’s hand-combed, acrylic moiré paintings retaliate against a depthless glare. Tallying his credit card debt in green paint on a green screen, Josh Kline adapts the style of abstract painting in hopes of making deficits disappear.
Nicole Eisenman’s plaster busts silently acknowledge the contradiction between immaterial connectivity and phantom bodies. Against corporeal and symbolic disappearance, Brandon Lattu memorializes an over painted figurative mural through photography. Arnold Joseph Kemp handcrafts a pair of shoes to accompany a forfeited exoskeleton in a related act of remembrance. Bringing together champion choreography and an original score by Alex Waterman, Cameron Keith Gainer conjures the human silhouette by staging a bioluminescent frenzy.
In print, Tim Davis uses one ruin to document another and then humanizes the motionless spectator in motion picture. Also shuttling between digital and analog technologies, Miljohn Ruperto employs computer generated imagery to model apocryphal biological mutants that Ulrik Heltoft then chemically fixes onto paper in the darkroom. On an adjacent plinth, the printed component of Tyler Coburn’s excursus on cloud technologies awaits another type of spectral transmission – the act of reading.
In lieu of isolating formal, financial, or social abstraction, the works in this exhibition address various underlying conditions that impact our contemporary ways of seeing.
47 CANAL St, 2nd Floor
September 3 – October 13
Opening Reception September 3 , 6-8pm
Youth is the ultimate commodity in a society of dying people. The human body is capable of
producing youth. But not after you’re 21. Not for you. Inside your body, youth is a nonrenewable
resource. Outside your body, it’s a baby. Even with exercise, a good diet, and a supersized
bucket of supplements, your genes will only keep you looking and feeling ripe for so long. You’re
either in the desirable demographic or you’re not. In the “free” market—where people are for sale
—you have a sell-by date.
Our society’s lifestyle economy keeps middle-class youth around as a commercial engine. When
we’re young, companies connect youthful feelings of health and well-being with various goods,
services, desires, and experiences: music, clothing, sex, drugs, drug-foods, hair cuts, hair color,
graphic design, celebrities, etc. For the rest of our increasingly long lives, companies will use
these formative consumer experiences to sell us the feelings of youth and to promote the
inadequacies of advanced age. I will always love/drain you.
Once youth starts slipping away—at a glacial pace in the beginning and then like a horrible
rampaging avalanche—aging becomes a battle of attrition, a chilly arthritic retreat from Moscow in
your telomeres and mitochondria. And in your mind. Meanwhile, circling above, marketing experts
track your passing birthdays. Companies sell you back your own youth, preserved in deadstock
eBay amber or reissued and updated in this season’s colors; or a contemporary vision of youth,
the alien cultural tastes and desires of people born decades after you. Or they sell you physical
remedies: exercise, health food, vitamins, and primitive body modification. Simulation teenager
skin cream. Twentysomething-colored hair dye.
As we march forward into the future, through the decades that lie beyond our culturally prolonged
“endless” childhoods, youth escalates in value and desirability like profits accruing in the banks’
government-secured electronic coffers. Youth can be used to sell almost anything. Put a youth on
it. In front of it. Standing next to it half-naked. In denim. In rip-stop nylon. In nostalgia for another
generation’s adolescence. Anything looks good on young people—even the past. Perform an
amputation and screw on a golden C3PO leg; a 22-year-old will still look good. Teenagers can
dress in rags and old men and women will still drool at the sight of their flesh. Pop music.
Radical life extension begins in your ears. Its clandestine operating clinic is currently a clothing
store. Youth always has a soundtrack. It always has a look. Generational opposition is a built-in
feature of our economic system. Planned human obsolescence. Feeling stranded in a strange
time? If you want to slough off your thirtysomething skin or shed your fortysomething fatigue:
delete all the nostalgia from your bloodstream and get a taste transfusion. Keep your skill set
current. Aging generations are the failed states of the future.
Made possible by/in collaboration with: Rodrigo Trombini Pires, Domenick Ammirati, Avena
Gallagher, Preston Chaunsumlit, Taylor Absher, James Ferraro, Lukas Geronimas, Merche
Blasco, MacGregor Harp, Alexander Lau, Trevor Wade, James Foster, David Melrose, Matthew
Patterson Curry, Gerlan, Mike Eckhaus, Zoe Latta, Tim Coppens, Margaret Lee, Oliver Newton,
Bobby Warden, Rebecca Bratland, Christina Anderson-McDonald, Promise Smith, Tyler Benz,
Piotr Ryterski, Esthe Cleto, Drew Gilmore, Juliet Jane, Nicole Bridgeford, Patric Dicaprio, Paul
Daunais, Jesse Greenberg, Justin Sloane. Special thanks: Antoine Catala, Shabd SimonAlexander, Eleanor Cayre, Dennis Freedman, Ken Miller, Christopher Y. Lew, Miriam Katzeff, Ajay
Kurian, Dina Chang, Babak Radboy, Cynthia Leung, Karen Archey, Rachel Rose, Justin Luke,
Micaela Durand. Customized software based on work by Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald.
Lisa Jo + Amy Yao
Opening FRIDAY, February 1st, 7-10pm+
Tadpoles laying eggs without ever becoming frogs. Caterpillars without butterflies. Dogs without wolves.
Plastic molecules locking onto latent hormone receptors. Early-onset-puberty tweens getting knocked up while iCarly plays in the background. New Yorkers.
Developmental climate change.
You can’t buy youth, but you can buy youths. America’s young give themselves away for Facebook likes. Internships. That loud farting sound in the background isn’t a new ring-tone, it’s middle-class adulthood deflating. The sound of 35-year-olds using toilet paper to blow their noses. H2N3 2013: From Midtown to Flushing with no Kleenex in sight.
Upgraded instincts squash old eyes up against the bright lights of new laptop screens. Reverse bug-zappers. AppleMaps directions to the MDMA fountain of youth. Meanwhile, retirement age keeps moving closer to impossible. 40 becomes the new 20 and 30 becomes the new 16. Congratulations, it’s a lifestyle!
With very best wishes,
All best wishes,
Best wishes for 2013,
On view October 21—December 31, 2012
Artists today have a very different relationship to mass consumption and images then artists who first engaged with these topics in the 1960s. Recent technology has created a vast archive of images that is easily accessible by computer, smartphone, and other devices. Technology has also amplified the flexible nature of pictures—early pop culture envisioned throngs of passive consumers while individuals today engage with imagery as active participants. Twenty-first century images are not only distributed from central hubs, but are rapidly circulated and exchanged among peers. The decentralized model has flattened hierarchies, fostering a sense of equivalence and ambiguity in which making, consuming, and sharing are all regarded as creative acts. The five emerging artists in the exhibition engage with images as raw material to create sculptures, videos, photographs, and installations. They recognize the elastic and diffuse nature of images, utilizing pictures to challenge expectations of genre, form, and meaning.
The exhibition features artists Trisha Baga, Lucas Blalock, Josh Kline, Margaret Lee, and Helen Marten.