Elizabeth Dee Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new sculptural, photographic and video works by Josephine Meckseper. For this exhibition, Meckseper transforms the gallery into a mirrored achromatic showroom, drawing comparisons between current and past US political strategies.
Meckseper alters the gallery interior through a series of architectural interventions, including a reflective ceiling grid, mirror slat wall and dark fluorescent lighting installed on the perimeter of the gallery floor. The entire exhibition space is activated as a showroom and oversized display vitrine, reflecting its contents on the walls and ceiling. Reminiscent of chrome surfacing in 1980s architecture, the car dealerships along 11th Avenue and the discount stores of the Garment District, Meckseper’s signature shelves and industrial sculptures hang from hooks on a slat wall like merchandise in a discount store. Meckseper’s interventions emphasize both the display and retail functions of gallery space, while the dark fluorescent lighting casts a discomfiting, perpetual and artificial twilight.
Meckseper presents a number of new sculptures including chromed wheels on mirrored pedestals, and a double-sided metallic display rack showcasing disembodied car parts, metal chains, paintings and newspaper images of luxury watches, the US Supreme Court, and Iraqi Shiites protesting the US occupation. These conjunctions in the works manifest the nature of the mirror, both reflective and diatonic. Mirrored surfaces multiply, fracture and expand the space, creating infinite juxtapositions. Images of elusive affluence and phantom notions of economic recovery confront a judiciary declaring an interest in expanding the rights of corporations. Chains binding the hands of Iraqi Shiites echo the chains on the sculptures, evoking the shackling of the US to its automotive-centric industrial past; grids in the racks, ceilings and achromes conjoin to expand the space into an immersive minimalist geometry; and reflections of the viewers collide with subjects and images of American consume rism, media and foreign policy.
Additionally, two new films are exhibited in the context of the installation. Meckseper’s newest film focuses on the glorified depiction of the American oil industry and the perpetuation of US imperialism. Here, images from the 1980s television shows Dynasty and Dallas are juxtaposed with an acid house soundtrack from the same decade, creating the context for a renewed debate on offshore oil drilling and the recent catastrophic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in Louisiana. Meanwhile, installed alongside empty display racks in the second gallery, Shattered Screen depicts a flickering image of television static on a broken monitor, echoing the smashed mirrors in the sculptural works and creating its own fiendish glow.
This is Josephine Meckseper’s fourth solo show with Elizabeth Dee and follows the gallery’s solo presentation of her work at The Armory Show earlier this year. Her film Mall of America is presently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, as part of the 2010 Whitney Biennial. In 2009, Meckseper had solo exhibitions at the Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum at the University of Houston, Texas, the Ausstellungshalle zeitgenössische Kunst in Münster, Germany and the Migros Museum in Zürich, Switzerland. Her work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in the exhibition New Photography 2008: Josephine Meckseper and Mikhael Subotzky, and in 2007, her work was the focus of a mid-career retrospective presented at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, which traveled to Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen. She has been featured in numerous national and international exhibitions including Brave New Worlds, Walker Art Center, Minnea polis, MN, touring to Fundación/Colección Jumex, Mexico City; Resistance Is, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Second Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville, Seville; USA Today, Royal Academy of Arts, London, which traveled to The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Media Burn at the Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
The exhibition will open concurrently with New York Gallery Week, a new initiative presenting 50 solo gallery exhibitions and special programming by galleries around New York City, scheduled for May 7 – 10.