Loaded

15 May–20 June 2009

Loaded

In this moment of major socio-polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic shifts glob­al­ly, Loaded presents ten­den­cies with­in a group of artists’ work that speak to the social and polit­i­cal. The exhi­bi­tion marks a par­tic­u­lar moment in his­to­ry while pre­sent­ing prac­tices that tran­scend the speci­fici­ty of time through a con­sis­tent prob­ing of the com­plex­i­ties and con­tra­dic­tions of 21st cen­tu­ry cul­ture. Attend­ing to tra­jec­to­ries in art his­to­ry through var­i­ous medi­ums, the artists explore the con­di­tions of the world through ques­tions of pow­er, account­abil­i­ty, democ­ra­cy, his­to­ry, and activism.

Point­ed­ly, the busi­ness suit appears as a key sym­bol through­out the exhi­bi­tion, as a stand in for pow­er and wealth and the cur­rent fail­ure of the cul­tur­al log­ic of late cap­i­tal­ism. Bri­an Jun­gen’s para­chute, which is con­struct­ed from men’s dress shirts and per­pet­u­al­ly filled with air, alludes to a life sav­ing device, sup­port­ing one’s fall, but also sug­gests arti­fi­cial infla­tion or a hot air bal­loon. Rebec­ca Bel­more weighs down the notion of the pow­er suit, cre­at­ing a trench-like bar­ri­cade of bags filled with sand, while Myfan­wy MacLeod’s grid of draw­ings enti­tled Do You Believe?, derived from depic­tions of the Sec­ond World War, are accom­pa­nied by texts from life insur­ance man­u­als that bestow the qual­i­ties of a good sales­per­son and the ben­e­fits of sell­ing peace of mind. In these works, exis­ten­tial ref­er­ences to pro­tec­tion­ism, self-defense, after­life and the indeli­ble con­nec­tion to cap­i­tal are ever-present.

Kevin Schmidt offers an inter­ven­tion into the exhi­bi­tion that alarms and warns through a imi­ta­tive bird call, as Alex Mor­ri­son recon­sid­ers local protest move­ments from the 1960s in the form of per­ma­nent bronze mon­u­ments to free­dom and a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque reclaimed as an ephemer­al graphite rub­bing. In a sim­i­lar move towards his­tor­i­cal revi­sion­ism, Sam Durant also tips the his­to­ry of protest on its head by invert­ing and pro­vid­ing an eter­nal mir­ror image of the icon­ic Black Pan­ther wick­er chair that served as a back drop for Huey Newton’s mes­sage of black pow­er. In Durant’s ear­ly pho­to series Emp­ty he also lit­er­al­ly emp­ties loaded con­tents through the repet­i­tive process of purg­ing and drain­ing bot­tles of alco­hol, as if enact­ing a cleanse from over-con­sump­tion.

Acti­vat­ing a com­mon apa­thet­ic phrase and trans­pos­ing it to the past tense, Ron Ter­a­da re-con­fig­ures his neon work It Is What It Is, It Was What It Was, which reflects a glob­al atti­tude of irre­spon­si­bil­i­ty and com­pla­cen­cy. In con­tradis­tinc­tion, fol­low­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic ges­tures of Felix-Gon­za­les Tor­res, Geof­frey Farmer presents a sculp­ture ini­ti­at­ed dur­ing time spent with a Quak­er com­mu­ni­ty in Boston Com­mon which is linked to his ongo­ing inter­est in the rights and free­doms asso­ci­at­ed with the lib­er­ty bell and the reoc­cur­ring fig­ure of the Hunch­back of Notre-Dame. With a sim­i­lar sen­si­bil­i­ty, Jin-me Yoon exam­ines our larg­er meta­phys­i­cal rela­tion­ship to the world through the embod­i­ment of a dis­tort­ed phan­tom fig­ure who sub­ju­gates human-cen­tric ver­ti­cal­i­ty by crawl­ing on the hor­i­zon­tal plane amidst ther­mal hot-spring sites in Japan that are com­mu­nal­ly shared.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion or press enquires please con­tact Catri­ona Jef­fries or Anne Low at +1 604 736 1554.