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DOCUMENT is pleased to inaugurate Gallery Two, a dedicated exhibition space for special projects with Polaroids an exhibition of works by Laura Letinsky. The exhibition coincides with the release of Time’s Assignation, a book devoted to the artist’s Polaroid works, realized between 1997 and 2008.

Laura Letinsky’s work transports us in time. Working with Polaroid Type 55, the renowned instant development process yielding a unique image, Letinsky photographs fruits, owers, food, utensils, and other fragments of everyday life. These interior spaces are a testament to their passing inhabitants, but only the ordinary, worn, used objects remain. Looking more closely, we notice the meticulous composition. The space that defines these domestic objects indicates that these pictures were not taken in a hurry but rather composed with care. Those who know Letinsky’s work will recognize in these her still lifes, a genre in which she has excelled since the 1990s. Like the objects depicted, these Polaroids too have undergone alterations. We see smears, ecks, and other marks atop the image that disrupt the photographed scene.

In Time’s Assignation, the impurities are as much a part of the image as is its subject. Letinsky is wont to work with a 4×5” camera, and like many photographers before the digital age, she used the Polaroid to make tests. This practical use was a technical aide, a way of obtaining a black-and-white preview that would subsequently be taken with the same camera for her color negatives of the same scene. Similar to a sketch, the Polaroid allowed Letinsky to explore the focus, time of exposure, and light, as well as overall composition. To reveal them to us today is a surprise; with these little images, we enter into the process of creation, the artist’s notebook.

-Nathalie Herschdorfer

Christopher Meerdo

Christopher Meerdo (b.1981) is a Chicago based artist who grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Lithuania. Meerdo’s work was recently currently featured in a year-long solo exhibition at the Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art. He is the Fellowship 15 International Award winner for his projects Iceland and Cataphote, was an artist in residence at the SIM Program in Reykjavik, Iceland and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. Meerdo received his MFA in Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include The National Gallery of Kosovo, Exgirlfriend (Berlin); The Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago, IL); CocoHunday (Tampa, FL); Floating Museum (Chicago, IL), Cabinet Magazine (Brooklyn, NY); LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL); Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville, VA); SIM Gallery (Reykjavik, Iceland) and a traveling exhibition in Birmingham and Leicester, UK. More information can be found at http://0-0.ooo

time machine for variation identification and memory, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, USB LED clock fan, flameless USB lighter, micro USB LED 10x9x4 in, 2016

integrated simulation and synthesis, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, Snoop Dogg BUSH G Slim Liquid Vaporizer, USB powered fan, flexible USB LED Lamp 12x8x5 in, 2016

clustering for similarity in data mining, Raspberry pi, micro sd card, power adapter, programmable USB LED fan, 16Gb USB fake thumb 8x8x6 in, 2016

Active Denial System, Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art installation view, 2016

HD Protech Cite M1G2, 2016 hydroprint on retroreflective fabric, cnc extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, mixed media

Haute VIEW, 2016 hydroprint on retroreflective fabric, cnc extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, mixed media

Metadata, 2016 HD video, 11:01 min custom display monitors, raspberry pis, network switch, sound system

Underground-Nuclear-Fallout-Home-Las-Vegas-NV-west-wall-detail-dusk, 2016 Archival pigment prints, 20 x 30 in. each

Underground Nuclear Fallout Home Las Vegas NV, south wall, dawn, Archival Digital Print, 20 x 30 in, 2016

Erythrocyte Ghosts Filled with Quantum Dots Improve Cryogenics with Microarea Custom Freeze Thaw @Document

Erythrocyte Ghosts Filled with Quantum Dots Improve Cryogenics with Microarea Custom Freeze Thaw @ Document

Death Stress Implant Network Detour (DSIND), Custom display monitor, media player, 30” loop, 2016

Earth/Nature + Individual Preparation = Sovereign Integral Realization, Custom display monitor, media player, 2’43” loop, 2016

Lightbody_astral.jpg//white_matter_of_left_cerebral_hemisphere-2.x3d, Extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, plaster, hydroprint, acrylic gloss glaze 36x 24x 20 in, 2016

hplusmagazine-2008-fall.pdf//EMDB-6003-surf-radial.x3d, Extruded polystyrene, hydrocal, plaster, hydroprint, acrylic gloss glaze 44x 36x 14 in, 2016

Collective Human Mind System Reality, Custom display monitor, usb flash drive, LED strobe light, 1’23” loop, 2016

Brute Force, archival digital prints, 2014, Elmhurst Art Museum Biennal, installation view.

Brute Force, archival digital prints, 2014, The Hills, installation view.

Brute Force xtxp8.jpg (cop selfie), Archival Pigment Print, 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 in, 2014

IMG1272.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 15 x 12 1/2 in, 2007-2015

IMG38.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 10 x 9 in, 2007-2015

IMG67_1.jpg, Archival Digital Print, 10 x 9 in, 2007-2015

Kirkjufell, Iceland, archival digital prints, 12x18 each, 2013

Svartsengi, Iceland, archival digital prints, 12x18 each, 2013

Cipher (insurance.aes256), ultraviolet curing ink on seamless paper 350x100 in, 2011

Cipher (insurance.aes256), ultraviolet curing ink on seamless paper 350x100 in, 2011

Cataphote, 2014 welded steel, retroreflective fabric, zippers, vacuum 16x18x9 ft collaboration with May Wilson

 PRETENSE  

ANDREW NORMAN WILSON

Opening: Friday October 6 from 6-9 pm

On view: October 6-20 Wednesday-Sunday from 12-6 pm

Find the Press Release here.  


Through the use of puppets both computer-generated and hand-made, the recent work of Andrew Norman Wilson stages inescapable narrative scenarios in which rational thought becomes contradictory and human exceptionalism unravels. Drawn from the popular imagination, the videos’ anthropomorphized characters mimic our emotions and behavior while exploiting the illusory and uncertain qualities of puppetry. In the words of the artist, “Being a person means being paranoid that you might be a puppet of some other force, like economic networks or algorithms or genetic coding.” Divided, replicated, transposed, and multiplied, Wilson’s puppets are subjected to biological and computational functions within infinitely looping narratives where perceptual play reigns and human reason offers no escape.

The Unthinkable Bygone (2016) was the first project Wilson developed in collaboration with the animator Vlad Maftei, whose experience includes realistic simulations of vital organs for the healthcare industry as well as the limitless elasticity of a 4D Spongebob Squarepants film. For Wilson, such overlaps of scientific visualization and popular cinematic technique are a key site for understanding science as a cultural practice that offers information about matter without revealing a consciousness-piercing truth. Together Wilson and Maftei created a 3D model of Baby Sinclair from Jim Henson’s animatronic puppet TV series Dinosaurs (1991-94) and subjected him to varied forms of scientific analysis, including simulation, dissection, reflection, and endoscopy. What emerges is an infinite loop in which speculation on an organism’s intelligence, experience, and points of view inevitably reveal the influence of cinematic and televisual convention, and leave us knowing less than we did at the beginning of the experiment.

Reality Models (2016) is a shot-by-shot recreation of a scene from “Peppermint Park,” an educational home video series produced in the 1980s by a group of investors seeking to profit off the narrative models that “Sesame Street” invented for educational children’s entertainment. A s the artist recounts, “Growing up, a family friend had several copies of the VHS tapes and I remember being terrified of an unexplained dance sequence by a breakaway puppet dressed to look like a scarecrow. A few years ago, clips from the show resurfaced online, and my relationship with the dancing scarecrow has shifted from horror to obsession.” Wilson added a backstage scene that reveals the puppet as his own puppeteer. Inspired by a 2010 experiment by the physicist Aaron O’Connell, the scene dramatizes the discovery that an object visible to the naked human eye can be in two places at once, thus demonstrating the influence of quantum physics on objects larger than atoms. In his essay on the video, Wilson writes, “From here it starts to seem like existing means being inconsistent, while dying means becoming consistent. Or that classical logic – where things are either A or B , but never A and B at the same time – is being replaced by a quantum logic which says t hat all future possibilities exist i n the p resent.” One could say t he narrative operates analogically to that idea. Or, it’s a demonstration of how, in cinema and literature, narrative closure occurs when plot and story arrive at a 1:1 ratio: consistency. At its most basic, it’s the s tory of an artist torn between their public persona and the private struggle of day-to-day survival. Whatever it means, Reality Models is about just that: whatever it means. In the words of O’Connell, “People have models of reality, and those models are descriptions, but they don’t get you any closer to the truth.”

Ode to Seekers 2012 (2016) was the second project Wilson developed in collaboration with Maftei and was initially conceived during treatment at Rockland Psychiatric Center in Orangeburg New York, which contains the abandoned children’s ward seen in the video. Loosely based on John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (1820), the work emerges from a translation of the formal techniques of Keats’ textual ode to an infinitely looping video. Ekphrasis – the graphic, dramatic description of a visual work of art – shifts from Keats’ urn and the celebratory scene it depicts to an abandoned children’s ward at a mental institution and a computer-generated scene composed by Wilson and Maftei. “What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?” The questions that Keats asks of the images on the urn are visually translated for the viewer of Seekers , transposing the poet’s queries to a scene in which a mosquito, a syringe, and an oil pump all thrust their piercers into a surface that looks at once like human skin under a microscope, desert salt flats, and potato casserole. Sifting through the artist’s experiences with mosquito-borne illness, drug addiction, and climate change, the work operates as both a questioning of and a testament to the choice to continue to make art, or do anything at all, when every attempt to love, desensitize, or survive inevitably entails traumatic destruction.

A sculpture entitled Robin Williams Window Shade (2015) is mounted in the former cinema. The artist bought a resin cast of Robin’s head from a Hollywood prop studio that was made when the actor was still alive. Face casts seem to anticipate a person’s death – they not only require the person to “play dead” during the making of the mold, but they also outlive the person, turning their form into a replicable commemoration. Wilson 3D-scanned the cast and worked with a 3D modeler to open its eyes and make it grimace in the way Robin Williams was known to do. He also 3D-scanned an alligator clip that the modeler used to pinch his eyebrow within the software. The clip, but not its effect, was then removed and the model was 3D printed and thrust through a hole in a piece of faux leather. As with the baby dinosaur from The Unthinkable Bygone , Wilson picks up traces of forms, copies of copies, and attempts to reanimate the affect of their source towards atypical ends. He writes, “With the face print in my hands, I am ecstatic. Then, a feeling that something was always absent, regardless of the fact that it’s a faceprint of a faceprint of a faceprint of a face. Like any object itself, Robin himself was never an adequate expression of his actual existence. In person, he sparkled with the same mysterious absence as this powder print in my hands, or as in the projection I saw of Mrs. Doubtfire’s face, covered in cake icing, yelling ‘toodaloo’ from behind a refrigerator door. The object is mournful – it holds on to the feeling of something slipping away. It’s about being respectful, being true, but knowing that you are losing something. Treasuring an illusion, while kissing it goodbye.”

Mosquito Computer (2015-2017) is a custom computer case that has been modified to house multiple generations of mosquitoes over the course of an art exhibition. Inside the case is a mosquito colony, a hard drive enclosure with a small pond inside for larvae to grow, and another hard drive enclosure filled with tree resin that serves as both a food supply and a preservation medium for dead mosquitoes. The multi-generational family drama On Golden Pond (1981) is projected onto the case to serve as visual stimuli for the mosquitoes. Over the course of the exhibition, the female mosquitoes are fed blood meals sourced from the artist’s veins to afford them the protein they need to make their eggs. These blood meals also allow the artist to store his genetic information temporarily in the mosquitoes’ bodies, and permanently in the tree resin once it becomes amber. According to the narrative of Jurassic Park (1993), this could allow for clones of the artist to be produced in the future.

Andrew Norman Wilson is an artist from suburban Massachusetts. After studying journalism and communications, he worked on various activist and documentary projects while employed as a commercial video producer. In 2008, he decided to start making art, and since then his work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, Centre Pompidou, the Gwangju Biennial and the Berlin Biennial. Lectures include Harvard University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, UCLA, and Cooper Union. His work has been featured in Artforum, e-flux, Frieze, the New Yorker, and Wired.

 

ODE TO SEEKERS 2012
2016, HD Video. 8 min 30 sec loop
ROBIN WILLIAMS WINDOW SHADE
2015, vinyl, 3D powder print, nails, clothespin

REALITY MODELS
2016, HD Video and VHS. 5 min 40 sec loop
THE UNTHINKABLE BYGONE
2016, HD Video. 2 min 18 sec loop

 

 

MOSQUITO COMPUTER
2015-2017, mosquito larvae, mosquitos, artist’s blood, anodized aluminum custom computer case, anodized aluminum hard drive enclosures, acrylic, window screen, pond water, tree resin/amber, On Golden Pond by Mark Rydell (1981)


 

 

 

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
General Inquiries
info@documentspace.com

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm

Private Works Login
DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 30 solo exhibitions since its opening in 2011 and actively promotes the work of emerging national and international artists. Operating conjointly as a professional printmaking studio, DOCUMENT facilitates the production of works by artists from Chicago and the US. At this time we do not accept unsolicited submissions.