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Doug Ischar, Sleepless


Golden Gallery, Inc.
120 Elizabeth Street
East Village / Lower East Side
January 5 - February 26, 2012
Reception: Thursday, January 5, 6 - 9 PM
Web Site

We proudly present Sleepless, an exhibition of artwork by Doug Ischar.

This is Ischar’s third exhibition at Golden Gallery. The first, “Marginal Waters,” featured a body of photographs from 1985 never before seen in its entirety. Taken on Chicago’s now defunct Belmont Rocks – then one of the most visible urban gay beaches in North America – and during the height of the AIDS crisis – the photographs were presented alongside a new single-channel video work, forget him, serving as counterpoint to the twenty-five year old documents.

Ischar’s second exhibition with the gallery, “Honor Among,” featured multiple photographs taken during 1987 at a San Francisco leather bar, The Eagle, alongside a 2007 single-channel video, “back the way he came,” together addressing key themes from Ischar’s practice during the past twenty years: pleasure in looking, the position of the spectator, public sexuality, and representations of masculinity. Both photographic series, Marginal Waters and Honor Among, were presented for the first time in their 2009 and 2011 exhibitions.

“Sleepless” is an exhibition drawn from Ischar’s institutional exhibition history from 1993 – 1995. Two large bodies of work, “Orderly” and “Wake” – presented at The List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; Museo de Arte Moderna, São Paulo; Mercer Union, Toronto; and SITE Santa Fe, among others – emerged at a moment when the exploration of media, and cross-disciplinary practices, were critical actions further complicating the then-peculiar state of semiotics.

The current exhibition presents the opportunity for the artist, and the public, to re-approach selected components from those early 90s installations, nearly two decades from their original conception and exhibition.

Ischar’s editing of moving image and static objects continues to address the practical and visual boundaries for definitions of masculinity, sexuality, violence and secrecy. “Sentry,” consisting of two surveillance monitors on a wall-mounted shelf, depicts appropriated Hollywood periscope footage alongside a panning fluoroscope scanning a lock box concealing sexual paraphernalia that, per his dying friend’s request, Ischar retrieved.

The hypnagogic image is that which stays with us, often repeating, both dwelling in and constituting the state between wakefulness and sleep. Sleepless is both a state and a mood: here, the exhibition emphasizes the elegance of retrospection and the reminiscence of darkness.

“Sleepless” opens January 5, 2012, 6 – 9pm, and continues through February 12. Gallery hours are Thursday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, or by appointment.

Since 2007 the artist has worked predominately in single-channel video. For two weeks, February 16-19 and 23-26, Golden will present ongoing screenings of Ischar’s filmic work. The program repeats hourly.

On January 8, 2012, a group screening has been organized by Golden Gallery at Participant Inc., 253 E. Houston, featuring the debut of Ischar’s, “Alone With You” (2011), alongside video artworks by Tom Kalin, and Gregg Bordowitz, each focusing on the experience and presentation of the various eroticizms of media, literature and history.
Have photos of this show? Tag them with artcat15859 to see them here.