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Matt Keegan, Talk to the Land

Andrew Kreps Gallery
525 West 22nd Street, 212-741-8849
October 13 - November 12, 2005
Web Site

Talk to the Land, as its title implies, is an exhibition featuring work that addresses the landscape in a conversational manner. This mainly photo-based show is made up of images and objects that require the artists (and their audience) to look at the world around them and find footing amongst shifting landscapes that range from the day-to-day to the more ethereal terrain of memory.

Since May 20, 1994, John Miller has been taking photographs between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. What links all these together is not a particular subject or event, but rather the time of day Miller shot them. Miller chose this two-hour period because it is his least favorite time, especially as inflected by the Protestant work ethic where the demand to work conflicts most sharply with the desire to rest.

Shannon Ebner, Michael Vahrenwald and Jakob Kolding work with billboards and roadside signage in various ways. Picking up where Dead Democracy Letters left off, Ebnerís new series Thoughts on a Contemporary American Feeling reconsiders the sculptural and linguistic possibilities of the billboard. Working on a smaller scale, Ebner embraces the billboard as a readymade site where language and form merge and flatten themselves into one hieroglyphic plane. Vahrenwald photographs the decomposition of destroyed roadside billboards, focusing on their enigmatic yet harmonious reclamation into nature. Kolding’s series of untitled posters deal with planning and use of public and private space, posing direct questions, such as “Who uses the space? What is it used for?” Posters will be available for viewers to take away from the exhibition.

Wohnen Mit Verkehrsanbindung, (closely translated as “living with transport connection”) from 2001, is documentation of an intervention by Michael Sailstorfer, shown here in the form of a slide projection. Eight different slides are projected, one interior and one exterior shot of four bus shelters in the Bavarian countryside. Sailstorfer furnished the shelters with a bed, kitchen, table, chair, toilet, electric and water supply, installed doors, and used a lawn mower to cut the high grass around them. All four shelters where open and furnished for one week.

Some artists in Talk to the Land have chosen to converse sculpturally. Sara Greenberger’s Is This Thing On? is a double-sided portable brick wall: one side has a microphone and spot-light and the reverse side is painted white like the wall of a downtown loft, with a modest drawing of a photograph of Carol Burnett. Accompanying the wall is a recording of a night club audience extracted from the interstitial moments of a joke by Lenny Bruce. Elise Ferguson contributes a room-scale folding structure that incorporates hand-cast urethane tiles to create an optically rich sculpture that is imposing, tactile and architectural. The work is a series of reflections on interior space, abstraction and the flexible nature of perception. From a larger collection of objects made of paper, Rachel Foullon has selected four sculptures including a miniature house raised on stilts, and a life-size silver ring. All of the objects are “exact” replicas of unusual findings by the artist, her friends, or family. Shifts in scale and material transformation contribute to the objects on display equally unusual psychological dimensions.

Moved by the limitations of the photographic medium, Riffs on Real Time is a body of work exploring concepts of time, space, and physicality. Through the use of everyday materials reconfigured and re-photographed on the ground of the spaces where these fragments actually exist, Leslie Hewitt presents distilled moments ripe with anticipation.
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