08.05.2021 – 30.07.2021

A Decade that Exploded

Merlin Carpenter, Loretta Fahrenholz, Claire Fontaine, Juliana Huxtable, Larry Johnson, Klara Liden, Georgie Nettell, New Models, Ken Okiishi, Henrik Olesen, Heji Shin, Reena Spaulings

Most of the works in this show try to make something with the experience of their own entanglement in time.  It seems that by disrupting the flows of work, communication and commerce, images of contemporary reality can still be dislodged from the blur of the present.  Or else by turning acceleration back against itself.  Rhythm is everything.  Just a few examples:  the eight-year jump cut in narrative time that both interrupts and structures Loretta Fahrenholz’s new video A Decade that Exploded (2012-2021), the stroboscopic playback of four years’ worth of personal iPhone data in Ken Okiishi’s Being and/or Time (2013-2016), the suspended, looping, screensaver-like images of Georgie Nettell’s Life Can Be Beautiful in Super Slow Motion (2019), the paranoiac organization of subcultural content in Juliana Huxtable’s poster prints Kill Your Idols and Alien (2017), the use of graphic timelines to track the historical emergence of digital “stacks” and platforms in New Models’ Decade Brain (with Bjarne Melgaard, 2020) and NM Y2K20 (with Jak Ritger, 2021), etc.

The Beatles, meanwhile, make an untimely appearance in Merlin Carpenter’s Donate to Tate (The Beatles) (2015): large-scale, plaster-encrusted paintings of the Fab Four are presented together with documentation of the artist’s correspondence with the Tate Modern, to which he once tried to gift the work. Larry Johnson’s Untitled (Clark Gable) (1981), is an original “camera art” element used to produce his iconic photo edition Untitled (Movie Stars on Clouds) (1982/1984) – a preliminary, typically unseen step in his layout and printing process now returned to the present as a unique work.  

Constellated here in Lisbon, these and other works by Claire Fontaine, Klara Liden, Henrik Olesen and Heji Shin present a survey of recent practices associated with Reena Spaulings Fine Art (New York/Los Angeles), a gallery now in its fifteenth year of operation.

John Kelsey

Photos by
Vasco Stocker de Vilhena