Reception: Saturday, July 9 5-8pm

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DOCUMENT is pleased to present What Birds Can See, a group exhibition of works by James Collins, Rachel de Joode and Alwin Lay. The exhibition will open on July 9th with a reception from 5pm to 8pm, and will continue through August 27th.

In her 1956 essay “What Birds Can See,” French author Nathalie Sarraute defines the features of what would later be called the “nouveau roman,” a radically new approach to fiction writing. Sarraute’s main concern is a search for “the unknown, the invisible,” which assumes that plots and characters are composed of microscopic and parceled truths. The three artists in this exhibition share a desire to confound the viewer while at the same time investigating processes and searching for what lies beneath surfaces—the beyond of what we can see. They do so by intertwining the roles of analog and digital media in a manner that Charlotte Cotton, in a recent essay, has called “camouflage”: “Photographer, painter, sculptor, all three of these terms are highly abstracted and unfixed; they are forms of camouflage that provide artists with temporary positions and relationships within the history of art, but pointedly staged in the context of the present.”

James Collins (born 1972, lives in Detroit, MI) uses acrylic and oil paint to produce simulacra of distorted photocopies, scanned images and other types of reproductions, creating an illusion of dimensionality in highly graphic paintings. When it first appeared, photography troubled painting’s monopoly on the accurate transcription of reality. Collins reverses this achievement by copying the reproduced image, executing “mechanical reproduction” with a skilled hand and a precise chemistry of materials. On the surfaces of the canvases shown in this exhibition, the artist applied Tyvec, a house wrap material that is currently ubiquitous in his Detroit context.

Rachel de Joode (born 1979 in The Netherlands, lives in Berlin) works in rhizomatic flows between three-dimensional matter, its two-dimensional representation, and its ambiguous resemblance to human bodies. In this exhibition, de Joode presents an ensemble of digital photographs, abstract sculptures made of cut PVC board, and a ceramic sculpture that serves as a hook for another printed PVC sculpture. De Joode documents processes that may go into the finished object, experimenting fluidly across matter, media and their relationship to the artist’s hand.

Alwin Lay (born 1984 in Romania, lives in Cologne) examines the life of objects seemingly free of human presence. His contribution for this show is a ten-minute video of an invisible cube, placed on a pedestal of identical scale, gradually filling with blue dish soap. A digital photograph, shown alongside the video, shows us a paint roll fixed with a push pin, its handle suspended in the air. These works’ obsessive rationality makes them all the more absurd, in keeping with the artist’s characteristically dry humor, while touching on questions of perception and knowledge. It is ultimately autonomy itself—figured as images of illusory “objecthood”—that appears as a trompe l’oeil in his work.

Gordon Hall

Gordon Hall is an artist based in New York. Hall’s sculptures and performances have been exhibited at SculptureCenter, The Renaissance Society, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art, Movement Research, EMPAC, Art in General, Temple Contemporary, Foxy Production, Hessel Museum at Bard College, White Columns, Wysing Arts Centre, Abrons Arts Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Drawing Center, and Chapter NY, among others. Hall’s first institutional solo show, The Number of Inches Between Them, took place at the MIT List Center for Visual Arts in 2018, for which a catalog by the same title was released at Printed Matter, New York. Hall’s second institutional solo exhibition, THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH, opened in June of 2019 at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, who also published OVER-BELIEFS, Collected Writing 2011-2018, an edited book of Hall’s collected essays, performance scripts, and interviews. Gordon Hall has organized lecture and performance programs at MoMA PS1, Recess, Interstate Projects, The Shandaken Project at Storm King Art Center, and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, producing a series of lectures and seminars in conjunction with the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Hall’s writings and interviews have been featured in a variety of publications including Artforum, Art in America, V Magazine, Randy, Bomb, Title Magazine, Walker Art Center’s Artist Op-Ed Series, What About Power? Inquiries Into Contemporary Sculpture (published by SculptureCenter, 2015), Documents of Contemporary Art: Queer(published by Whitechapel and MIT Press, 2016), and Theorizing Visual Studies (Routledge, 2012). Hall was awarded a LMCC Process Space Residency, a Triangle Arts Foundation Residency, the LMCC Workspace Residency, an Edward F. Albee Foundation residency, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ACRE, and the Fire Island Artist Residency. In 2018 Hall was awarded a Production and Presentation Grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to support List Projects: Gordon Hall at the MIT List Center for Visual Arts. Hall holds an MFA and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Hampshire College. Hall is a 2019-2020 Provost Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design.

Brothers and Sisters, 2018 Cast pigmented concrete, hand-dyed cotton, wood, hand-glazed tile mosaic, colored pencil, brick, and mortar Dimensions variable with installation

Brothers and Sisters, 2018 Cast pigmented concrete, hand-dyed cotton, wood, hand-glazed tile mosaic, colored pencil, brick, and mortar Dimensions variable with installation

Brothers and Sisters, 2018 Cast pigmented concrete, hand-dyed cotton, wood, hand-glazed tile mosaic, colored pencil, brick, and mortar Dimensions variable with installation

Brothers and Sisters, 2018 Cast pigmented concrete, hand-dyed cotton, wood, hand-glazed tile mosaic, colored pencil, brick, and mortar Dimensions variable with installation

Brothers and Sisters (II), 2018, Cast pigmented concrete 16 3/4 x 7 x 17 1/2 inches (42.5 x 17.8 x 44.5 cm)

Brothers and Sisters (I), 2018 Cast pigmented concrete and wood 11 1/8 x 14 x 11 1/2 inches (28.3 x 35.6 x 29.2 cm)

Brothers and Sisters (I), 2018 Kneeling (Brick Object)(II), 2018 Brick and mortar 10 1/4 x 11 1/2 x 16 1/2 inches (26 x 29.2 x 41.9 cm)

Brothers and Sisters (I), 2018 Fold (II), 2018 Hand-dyed cotton 2 1/8 x 104 x 28 3/4 inches (5.4 x 264.2 x 73 cm)

AND PER SAY AND Wood, joint compound, wood filler, cast cement, color pencil, acrylic and latex paint, denim, hand dyed cotton, modeling clay, tile mosaic. Performance with projected video and sound 58 min. 13’ x 23’ x 36’. 2016.

THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH, 2019, Performance at The Portland Institute of Contemporary Art

THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH, 2019, Performance at the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art

Closed Box with Painted Top, 2019 Cast Concrete, poplar, latex paint, From performance THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH

OVER-BELIFES, 2019 Cast concrete, From performance THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH From THROUGH AND THROUGH AND THROUGH, 2019 a performance at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Photo by Evan Lalonde.

Afterimage, Vol. 46, Number 2

Exhibition Review: Andrew Norman Wilson: Kodak

Andrew Norman Wilson: Kodak. Document. Chicago, Illinois: January 11–February 23, 2019| By Liz Park

Image 1. Still from Kodak (2018) by Andrew Norman Wilson; © 2018 Andrew Norman Wilson; courtesy the artist and DOCUMENT.

 

Andrew Norman Wilson’s thirty-two-minute video Kodak (2018) was the beating heart of his eponymous exhibition at DOCUMENT in Chicago. A series of prints that take inspiration from various Kodak products hung in an adjacent gallery while a stack of giveaway posters—of the company’s first digital camera from 1973 printed on recto and a text by Nick Irvin on verso—prepared those who entered a dark, curtained gallery. Irvin’s text introduced the video’s protagonist Rich as a mentally unstable former Kodak employee who became blind as a result of a workplace accident. These details emerge slowly, however, and in short bursts, like flickers of images that stitch together the stories of the character Rich and Kodak’s legendary founder George Eastman [Image 1].

“Your time is up,” alerts the high-pitched and tinny voice of a woman, beginning a narrative that is driven primarily by sound rather than images. A long minute passes with only darkness to accompany her increasingly aggravated chastising, dramatically peaking with “You have to stop now!” The first discernable image finally surfaces—a portrait of a bespectacled Eastman. A shaky voice that stands in for Eastman implores, “What is a photograph?” He answers himself: “. . . a dream, a reminder of how little you can actually capture.” Responsible for popularizing photography through consumer-grade technology, Eastman, as recorded in history and presented in this well-researched video, successfully tapped into the consumer’s desire to hold onto the fleeting moments of their mortal lives. Spiked with nostalgia, Eastman’s steady ruminations on life, photographic processes, and his business empire provide […]

Read the complete article here.

Owner
Aron Gent
aron@documentspace.com
Director
Sibylle Friche
sibylle@documentspace.com
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DOCUMENT is a commercial gallery located in Chicago that specializes in contemporary photography, film and media based art. The gallery has organized more than 40 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.