Sabine Gruffat, Untitled from the “Defending the Frontier” series, 2007, Lambda print mounted on Aluminum, 24” x 46”, Edition of 8. Courtesy of Hudson Franklin.
Curated by Mary Billyou, Martin Esteves, and Christopher Rose
Hudson Franklin is pleased to present “Future Yonder,” a group exhibition featuring the work of Bill Brown, Amy Chan, Martin Esteves, Sabine Gruffat, Christopher Rose, and Deborah Stratman.
The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory. Jean Baudrillard, “The Precession of the Simulacra”
As Americans, most of us today find ourselves encircled by either beltway traffic, gated communities, hi-tech security systems, or La-Z-Boy lounge furniture. And yet, we live in a country where all citizens are declared “free” and “liberty” is held to be one of our most cherished ideals. Mapping such known sites as traffic jams, rural developments, cowboys, unattended ATMs, and natives, this exhibition plays with the pathos behind the American dream, and it reanimates the anomalies that have been produced by its marketing triumph.
The charged borderline between “civilized society” and “nature” inform the work and imaginative investigations of this group of contemporary artists. Through the creative practice of collage, many of these artists seize upon iconic elements from American culture and recontextualize them into a strange future, revealing what lies uncannily underneath our familiar present. In this upside down world, where nature is a corporate resource and where views of spectacular landscapes turn toward office development sites, these artists stake their claims.
It is no wonder that our nostalgia for the Wild West is so remarkable today, since we live in a time when consumer purchasing power seems to be one of the last viable vestiges of a life of action. Perhaps because we live in a moment when only just now the last frontier has faded away to a blip on the screen, we are entering into another “new world.” But this new world does not have geographical boundaries it is a dream world where the past becomes the future, the future becomes the past, and the present is always negotiable. Mary Billyou