Jennifer Steinkamp, Daisy Bell Entire Year, 2008 . Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin (201 Christie).
For her first exhibition at Lehmann Maupin’s 201 Chrystie Street gallery, Jennifer Steinkamp will present a new series of work entitled Daisy Bell. Here, in one of her most significant installations to date, the Los Angeles-based artist utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to wed her projections to the dramatic architecture of the gallery, dematerializing the space and creating an eerie environment.
The title, Daisy Bell, refers to a particular moment in the history of science and culture: in 1962, Bell Labs used the IBM 704 to synthesize the popular 19th-century English song of the same name. The song was also used in the climactic scene of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the supercomputer HAL 9000 begins to sing Daisy, Daisy as his consciousness is degraded.
Steinkamp’s Daisy Bell series is comprised of a variety of poisonous flowers that appear to cascade down the gallery walls. Much as Bell Lab’s Daisy Bell consisted of a human application reinterpreting nature, Steinkamp reprises the idea, and defines this new series of artwork by its relationship to human innovations.
In 2008, the Getty Museum commissioned a site-specific work by Jennifer Steinkamp for its building designed by Richard Meier. Included in the survey California Video, it utilizes volcanic imagery to transform an oculus architectural detail. Translated from the Latin meaning eye; this architectural detail refers to an eye of god and Steinkamp creates a reference to the Getty Villa on the coast of California which is a recreation of the Villa of the Papyri that was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. By utilizing pyroclastic imagery stretched over time and space to represent God’s body the artist has expanded this notion to include another physical element shown here with Left Clavicle.
In 2006, the Denver Art Museum commissioned an installation by the artist for its new Daniel Libeskind-designed building. Steinkamp’s recent retrospective reached its final destination at the Albright-Knox Gallery this year, and following this, she will represent the United States at the 11th Cairo International Biennale in Egypt. Also this year, she participated in the acclaimed Badlands group exhibition at MassMoCA. Steinkamp’s work is in major collections worldwide including, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Istanbul Modern in Turkey, the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, and the Towada Art Center in Japan, among other important private collections worldwide.