09 Apr Charlie James Gallery presents Black Mirror Curated by Julia Schwartz and Consumption by Nancy Buchanan
Black Mirror – Julia Schwartz
Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present Black Mirror, a group exhibition curated by Julia Schwartz, with works by Andrea Marie Breiling, Dani Dodge, Kio Griffith, Karl Haendel, Kenyatta AC Hinkle, Cole M James, Elana Mann, Abdul Mazid, Thinh Nguyen, Warren Neidich, Claudia Parducci, Julia Schwartz, and Thaddeus Strode.
In Black Mirror, 13 artists respond to the current political and cultural moment through painting, drawing, installation, photography, and video. The works in this exhibition contend with what it means to live in the age of Trump, Wikileaks, and border walls; an age when the term BlackLivesMatter holds urgent currency, women’s bodies are once again up for grabs and whole segments of the population are obliged to live in a state of erasure. The artists employ disparate approaches in their responses to this historical moment: subversive humor and wit, practical guidance, documentation and conceptual analysis, poignant abstraction, emotional release.
The title, Black Mirror, is taken from the dystopian TV show, which examines the dangerous capacities of technology and social media to shape our thoughts and control our behaviors. Black Mirror refers as well to Claude Glass, small mirrors used by artists that abstract and distort the reflected subject.
Dani Dodge is a former journalist previously embedded with the Marines in Iraq. She creates environments out of recycled domestic detritus that mirror our emotional experience.
Thinh Nguyen, a first-generation immigrant from Viet Nam, uses his body and his being as a canvas for endurance actions and performance to explore and expose aspects of race and racism, class and classism, gender and identity.
Karl Haendel appropriates and recontextualizes images and texts, transforming them into his own symbolic language through drawing. Haendel, who also makes videos, books, and public projects, often creates immersive installations that rethink the role images play in determining our understanding of gender, power, and emotional states.
Abdul Mazid, a first generation American of Syrian and Mexican decent, mines his experience growing up in America as well as his study of economics for source material, to explore complexities of identity.
The work of Cole M James articulates the trajectory of her experiences as a Queer African American Woman. Her work is composed of various manifestations of the intersections between digital production and the analog collecting of lived experiences.
Warren Neidich is Professor of Art at the Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin and founder of the Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art. His theoretical work critiques the intersection of art, culture, society, mind, and brain utilizing writing, video, neon installation, noise, and performance.
Andrea Marie Breiling’s practice derives from her past performance and installation work exploring feminist, gender, and queer studies. This ongoing investigation brings fire and intensity to her new work of bold, abstract paintings.
Kio Griffith is a Los Angeles and Japan based visual and sound artist; his altered objects function like visual haikus.
Elana Mann is a multidisciplinary artist whose work mines the historical and socio-political aspects of sound in culture, creating objects both poignant and comedic. For this exhibition, she is collaborating with her partner, designer Jean-Paul Leonard.
Claudia Parducci’s investigation of survivalist strategies as a rational reaction to a political climate of fear began in 2007 in response to rhetoric around the Iraq war, leading to her multi-pronged Survival Project, which includes a series of drawings titled Disaster Manual.
Thaddeus Strode appropriates text and images from comic books, philosophy, and horror films, as well as the classic elements of a Southern California youth – punk rock, surf, and skateboard culture- into his paintings.
interdisciplinary artist/writer/performer Kenyatta AC Hinkle’s makes loose energetic drawings with handmade brushes while dancing, and from these works she creates poignant un-portraits of black women who have gone missing via erasure.
Julia Schwartz documents existential situations and states on a variety of surfaces including bookpages and cardboard as well as traditional surfaces like linen.
Consumption – Nancy Buchanan
Charlie James Gallery is delighted to present Consumption, our first solo show with Los Angeles-based artist Nancy Buchanan.
Intending to focus on painting at UC Irvine, Nancy Buchanan’s (b. 1946, Boston, MA) conceptual bent started when she was a student of Robert Irwin. Absorbing his lesson that art is an experience rather than an object, she extended her production to unusual materials (shredded newspaper, human hair) and methods of presentation. Buchanan works across drawing, performance, video, collage, mixed media work and installation. As she embraces the notion that art should evidence the time of its making, Buchanan’s pieces often addresses social and political issues.
“Consumption” was the 19th-century name for tuberculosis, from the Latin root con (completely) plus sumere (to take up from under), a disease Buchanan suffered from as a young child. The term’s modern definitions include “the using up of a resource,” “the ingesting of something,” and “the purchase and use of goods and services by the public,” among others. For Buchanan, the term “Consumption,” with its dated and contemporary definitions serves to organize a portrait of the contemporary moment drawn from four different bodies of work by the artist. The “It’s About Time” collage series consists of densely interwoven luxury wristwatch advertisements – furious meditations on American obsession with time, branding, and status, with nods to both Marclay and the shiny object fixation occupying today’s higher reaches of the art market. This series works in partnership with Buchanan’s other recent body of work in the show titled “50 Shades of Cake,” a photo-based series which combines attraction and repulsion in the sumptuous display of grayish-hued cakes and pastries. These two contemporary series are supported by earlier works from Buchanan’s career that build in historical perspective – works from the “After California” series and two of Buchanan’s miniatures with video. “After California” is a series of classic 20th-century California landscape images that Buchanan has updated by incorporating the suburbs now adorning their open spaces. Since 1988, Buchanan has collaborated with Carolyn Potter to make miniatures incorporating video. In “American Dream #6,” their very first piece together, every surface is littered with home improvement brochures while Joe McCarthy is shouting on TV, and bundled newspapers trace the history of atomic weapons. Another miniature – “Use Value” celebrates the local economies of garage sales.
Buchanan will donate 50% of the proceeds of her sales from the “50 Shades of Cake” series to the LAMP organization (begun in 1985 as Los Angeles Men’s Place) that assists homeless people in and around Skid Row.
Beginning with her participation as a founding member of F Space Gallery in Costa Mesa, Nancy Buchanan has been involved in numerous artists’ groups including The Los Angeles Woman’s Building and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); she has also acted as curator for several exhibitions and projects. Her work has been seen domestically and internationally and she is the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist grants, a COLA grant, and a Rockefeller Fellowship in New Media, which enabled her to complete Developing: The Idea of Home, an interactive CD-ROM, in 1999. Her work has been shown in exhibitions at MOMA, MOCA, the Centre Pompidou, the Getty Research Institute, and was included in four of the Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time exhibitions; in 2013 she had a solo screening of her videotapes at REDCAT. Recently, she organized a durational performance at UC Irvine’s xMPL Theater as the second event in The Art of Performance; also, her videos were included in Agitprop at the Brooklyn Museum; RE-ACTION, a traveling exhibition originating in Spain; and Jonny at Insitu, Berlin. From 1988-2012, she taught in the Film/School at CalArts; she worked with community activist Michael Zinzun on his cable access show Message to the Grassroots for ten years and as a member of Zinzun’s LA 435 Committee, she traveled to Namibia to produce a documentary about that country’s transition to independence from the Republic of South Africa. Buchanan lives and works in Los Angeles.
Show Runs: April 8 – May 13, 2017