FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Three Young Framers
June 6 – July 18, 2015
Opening reception: Saturday, June 6, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Regen Projects (Hollywood)
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
+ 1 310 276 5424
Earlier this year, Rachel Harrison was traveling to Rome. When she headed towards the Pantheon to visit one of her favorite buildings, she turned onto the plaza to hear “Selfie! Selfie stick!” as various men approached, offering foreign objects. Being familiar with the term but not the product, she was intrigued but resisted the urge to spend 10 euros. Inside the Pantheon, the artist was dismayed to see throngs of tourists holding these sticks while smiling at themselves, all ignoring the large aperture above their heads. Since that trip, selfie sticks have been banned from MoMA to Wimbledon, yet the selfie has only grown in power, in the hands of celebs at art museums or museum curators with celebs.
Sometimes an extra armature helps, to gain perspective on things. Sometimes it’s a hole in the head. For Rachel Harrison’s second exhibition at Regen Projects, “Three Young Framers,” the artist overlays multiple framing devices, as if to ask: What’s in a frame…
The artist’s new series of sculptures takes selfie sticks into their own hands, pre-empting their screen-filtered reception (by art tourists in person and online). One large blob painted in Impressionist pastels leans back to primp for the camera; a blue plank, titled Open Mic, is made just the right width to fill the iPhone frame in front of it; a bust of an American Indian aims to take a sensible passport photo; all with the aid of state-of-the-art sticks. What are these sculptures documenting? Do they have social ambitions and self-absorbed preoccupations like us? Will we get updates re: their trip from studio to gallery to the unknown? In addition, four skinny, monochrome posts share the floor with these figures. These stand tall in a minimal fashion, as if to remind us that, from the ancient greek kouros to Anne Truitt and onward, sculpture has served to document a presence or moment in space. Much like a selfie. Much like a footprint.
This winter, Rachel Harrison scuttled around like a daily news reporter, snapshot-ing New York sidewalks in the snow. The resulting set of images shows slurry or caked surfaces—not unlike the frosted textures of Harrison’s sculptures—clad in New York City light and imprinted by the latest sneaker, paw, or tire to have passed through. If these thirty-four photographs lined up in the side gallery as FOMO, 2015, remind you of Warhol’s dance diagrams, you will be happy to see at the back of the gallery the source image for Warhol’s “Marilyns” smiling out from behind her protective glycene. Harrison has installed Marilyn with Wall multiple times since its first iteration in 2004, but here it sits atop the remnants of a former gallery wall, of which she asked Regen Projects to keep every last scrap.
Walls, in various guises, have appeared in Harrison’s work since day one. As has photography. As has her abiding interest in letting a whole world of references in, and in bending established conceptual frameworks to new and contemporary ends. In this town, the metal wall studs ringing the gallery space must read as a summoning of a hallowed gesture of institutional critique: Michael Asher’s 2008 exhibition at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. But here they are also simply acting as one type of frame among many. And then there is the August Sander photograph, Three farmers on their way to a dance, or Young Farmers, 1914, after which this exhibition is titled. Imagine, if you will, that those three men in Sander’s image traded their canes for an extendable metal rod, deleted the photographer for a touch-screen, and updated “a dance” to “the club”—would the look in their eyes be filled with a fear-of-missing-out?
Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) lives and works in New York. Her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions include Who Gave You This Number?, NYU Institute of Fine Arts, New York; Fake Titel, kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany; Consider the Lobster, Center for Curatorial Studies, Hessel Museum Bard College, New York; HAYCATION, Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Conquest of the Useless, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England. Her work was included in the 50th and 53rd Venice Biennale and the 2008 Whitney Biennial. An upcoming exhibition Gloria: Robert Rauschenberg & Rachel Harrison will be held at the Cleveland Museum of Art (July 01 – October 25, 2015).
An opening reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, June 6, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
For all press inquiries, please contact Ben Thornborough at +1 310 276 5424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all other inquiries, please contact Jennifer Loh or Lindsay Charlwood at Regen Projects