LMAKprojects is pleased to introduce the group show ‘Strangers in a strange land’ featuring the work of Martin Basher, Marc Bijl, Jasmina Cibic, and Craig Leonard. Four foreign voices offering a refreshing look upon contemporary American culture. Through archiving, rebellion, reflection and humor we are asked to confront some of our consumer habits and cultural genealogy. We identify ourselves through our heritage frequently embodied by symbols affiliated to religion, nationalism, power and wealth. These aritist investigate these symbols and through readjustment their work re-embodies them with a new vigor of re-presentation.
Martin Basher (New Zealand, 1979) is a sculptor and painter whose work frequently deals with consumer culture and visual desire. Incorporating references to minimalism, design and retail display, Basher’s sculptures feature formal arrangements of seductive consumer goods infused with an undertone of unease. In the middle of the gallery Basher’s assemblage has an altar-like presence and an almost fetishistic quality, offering bliss on the one hand, and a sense of impropriety and guilt on the other- a souvenir of intense longing and fleeting happiness. This year Basher’s work will be on view at Saatchi and Saatchi headquarters in New York, and in early 2013 at Starkwhite Gallery in New Zealand.
Marc Bijl (Netherlands, 1970) presents a ‘Cultural Identity’, which builds upon his social commentary and play with symbols and symbolism. The Dutch flag is constructed from an American Flag the work plays with the notion of the indestructible sacred symbol of a nation yet questioning the power symbol when faced with a needle and thread. Bijl’s work ranges from gorilla like tactics and acts of rebellion to reveal to us the underlying truth of the powers that be. His work is currently also on view in a solo exhibit, ‘Urban Gothic’, at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.
Jasmina Cibic’s (Slovenia, 1979) work is an elaborate and humorous investigation into our preservation of culture and its objectification through sociopolitical devices. ‘Rotations’, a video placed in the back of the gallery, portrays birds of prey rotating on the artist’s replicas of famous designer stools and tables from the 20th century. Though their function remains unchanged, their stature is turned into a mere function designated for an object of desire rather being the object of desire. Also on view are falcon hoods, featuring hand painted representations of the furniture completed in a collaboration with Sid Moss, a lithographic artisan who worked at Metal Box Company post World War II in Britain. Moss developed his style at a time when rationing limited the use of color and material, except for within the US market. Cibic is currently preparing a solo exhibition for the European Capital of Culture, Maribor Slovenia.
Craig Leonard (Canada, 1969) is an anarchivist and new wave historicist interested in the products of ‘give and take’: borrowing, sifting, connecting, donating, unloosening. On view in the gallery’s vitrine is a highlight of Leonard’s projects from 2003. With a strong focus on forgotten, overlooked and marginal information (such as his ‘Obsolete Concepts’, a book that is a collection of abstract words that the Oxford English Dictionary deems irrelevant), Leonard’s work questions authoritative representations of the past and present through image, object and text. Leonard’s work is currently on view at MASS MoCA and City Museum of Ljubljana, Slovenia.