04
Oct
09

Exhibition: ‘Doug Aitken’ at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 12th September – 17th October

 

Many thankx to Regen Projects for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Doug Aitken. 'The handle comes up, the hammer comes down' 2009

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968)
The handle comes up, the hammer comes down
2009
LED lit lightbox

 

Doug Aitken. 'Free' 2009

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968)
Free
2009
LED lit lightbox

 

Doug Aitken. 'Start Swimming' 2006

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968)
Start Swimming
LED lit lightbox
2006

 

Doug Aitken. 'Start Swimming' 2006

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968)
Start Swimming
LED lit lightbox
2006

 

Installation view of Doug Aitken at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

 

Installation view of Doug Aitken at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

 

 

“Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist Doug Aitken. This exhibition will present a series of new text-based light boxes and will feature the west coast debut of the film migration. Aitken explores the themes of temporality, space, memory, movement, and landscape in his work. History and themes of both the past and present are interwoven and reconfigured. His work deconstructs the connection between idea and iconography allowing each to reinvent itself.

Doug Aitken’s new light boxes combine image and text in a collision that creates a rupture in which alternate connections are presented. The work frontier depicts a destroyed property on the water’s edge, redefining expectations of what a frontier may hold. The images within some of the light boxes are a photographic collage that references Aitken’s photographic oeuvre and aesthetic. Experimenting with font, borrowed images, and his own photographs, the light boxes will be presented in the darkened gallery, glowing and playing off of one another. The disjunction of word, image, and light in these works also moves toward a cinematic whole, creating panoramic landscapes through text.

Presented alongside the light boxes will be Aitken’s first large scale public installation in Los Angeles, migration. The film, the first instalment in a three-part trilogy entitled empire, debuted at the 2008 Carnegie International. This hallucinatory epic depicts the movements of migratory animals as they pass through vacant and deserted hotel and motel rooms, delineating a nomadic passage across America from east to west. Fittingly making its first appearance on the west coast, this large-scale cinematic installation will be presented to the public on Santa Monica Boulevard projected onto the courtyard of Regen Projects II; visible only at night from sunset to sunrise. In addition to the nighttime public presentation, migration will also be exhibited at the 633 North Almont Drive space on an indoor billboard accompanied by its original score.

Settlers who met the untamed wilderness to forge new ways of life defined westward expansion. Aitken’s migratory landscape in migration is the opposite; it is a landscape completely devoid of human presence. His non-linear narrative presents a series of different sequences in which the animals and their actions are unique while the rooms and their components are indistinguishable. Hotels such as these offer a sense of both security and isolation and while some animals adapt to these surroundings, others seem conspicuously strange. Rarely do we get to examine these creatures so closely. Their movements and presence make the viewer acutely aware of scale, calling into question various relationships; the most apparent of which is the relationship of the natural and the man-made. In this encounter between the urban and the indigenous the viewer gets a sense of both displacement and habituation. As one critic describes:

“One by one, at different hotels, the animals behave as they behave, sniffing the air, twitching their noses to orient themselves in the desolate human habitat. Imbued with Aitken’s usual intimations of planetary solitude, his sense of spatial dislocation, and gorgeous formalised perception, these images … have the quality not so much of a nonlinear narrative as of a mirage.”

(Kim Levin, Artnews, January 2009, p. 110.)

 

Aitken’s work has been exhibited extensively at museums and galleries worldwide, including his 2007 exhibition “sleepwalkers,” a large-scale outdoor installation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including shows at the Serpentine Gallery, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsberg, the Kunsthaus Bregenz and the Kunsthalle Zurich. Aitken was awarded the international prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.”

Text from the Regen Projects website [Online] Cited 01/11/2009 no longer available online

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968) Still from 'Migration' 2008

 

Doug Aitken (American, b. 1968)
Stills from Migration
2008
Single video projection with billboard (steel and PVC projection screen)

 

 

“In Migration, peacocks, deer, and beaver are filmed occupying motel rooms in vignettes that strike a poignant, provocative chord: talk about unexpected guests. Nevertheless, the work isn’t funny; it’s too frank in its beauty, too finely and respectfully wrought to be a joke.”

Aitken’s animals are frequently shot in close perspective, which enhances their beauty in a way that is mesmerising. We’re not looking through them as much as we’re looking alongside them, ingesting the utter foreignness of their environs. As evening falls, we see an owl, an already otherworldly creature whose glowing eyes appear extraterrestrial, blinking at us from its perch on a king-size bed. Against the singsong of chirping birds, the camera pans away from the stationary owl as the room fills with thousands of downy feathers. Light is a powerful character in the film, whether gently filtered through sheer curtains or spilling onto carpeted hallways. Rather than highlighting imperfections or ugliness, the light is salvic, evincing a limbo that’s illuminating and warming. In one way or another, all of Aitken’s animals are drawn to light, whether toward a blinking lamp, the refracted surface of a swimming pool, or even the glow of an opened refrigerator door.

Extract from

 

 

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Phone: (310) 276 5424

Gallery hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm

Regen Projects website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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