Blum & Poe : Sharon Lockhart - Lunch Break | Drew Heitzler - 21 Nov 2009 to 9 Jan 2010
Sharon Lockhart - Lunch Break
November 21, 2009 - January 9, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 21st, 6 - 8 pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present the first one-person exhibition at the gallery’s new location and the first US showing of Sharon Lockhart’s most recent project, Lunch Break. Featuring two film installations, Lunch Break (2008) and Exit (2008), as well as three bodies of photographs, each element details a different aspect of working life at Bath Iron Works. The shipyard in Bath, Maine, is a microcosm of the issues facing industrial workers all over the United States. Well known for her previous involvement with communities as varied as a city on the Amazon River, a Japanese basketball team, or the youth of a small town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, here Lockhart shifts her attention toward a community of workers.
Together with long-time collaborators Escher Gunewardena Lockhart has designed two unique installations for her films. Lunch Break features 42 workers as they take their midday break in a corridor stretching nearly the entire shipyard. Contrary to her previous films, the camera is untethered and, as it slowly moves down the corridor, we experience what was a brief interval in the workday schedule expanded into a sustained gaze. Lined with lockers, the hallway seems not only an industrial nexus but also a social one, its surfaces containing a history of self-expression and customization. Over the course of the lunch break we see workers engaged in a wide range of activities--reading, sleeping, talking--in addition to actually eating their midday meal. The real-time soundtrack is a composition designed in collaboration with composer Becky Allen and filmmaker James Benning, in which industrial sounds, music, and voices slowly merge and intertwine. Together, picture and sound provide an extended meditation on a moment of respite from productive labor.
Lockhart’s other film installation is a quite different meditation on time and space. Filmed over a five-day workweek, each of the five takes that comprise Exit shows the long progression of workers leaving the Bath Iron Works at the end of their shift. Each take starts with a title card stating the day of the week, and then begins a routine that varies greatly from day to day. Reminiscent of Louis Lumiere's film, Leaving the Lumiere Factory, Exit emphasizes the flow of time and the nuances of daily experience.
The photographic component of Lunch Break consists of twenty-seven photographs separated into three distinct bodies of work. A set of tableaus in which workers interact around both makeshift and institutional dining tables give us a sense of the various ways workers engage the social space. A collection of the various independent businesses workers have established to provide coffee, hot dogs, candy bars and snacks depicts the makeshift architectures and micro-economies allowed to exist within the larger factory structure. Finally, a series of eighteen more formalized still-lives of the workers’ lunch boxes serve as portraits of their owners and an archive of the trades that contribute to the construction of a ship. In each case, the worker is both framed by and frames the work place.
Sharon Lockhart lives and works in Los Angeles and has had solo exhibitions at international venues including Wiener Secession, Austria; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Zürich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wolfsburg Museum, Germany, and MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna. Her films have been included in the New York Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival, where Lunch Break was selected in 2009.
The Lunch Break exhibition debuted at the Wiener Secession in November, 2008 and will be exhibited at Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO in February and will travel to the Colby Art Museum, ME in the July of 2010. The exhibition catalogue, due in February, will feature essays by Sabine Eckmann, Matthias Michalka, an interview with Andras Palffy and architects Escher Gunewardena and a conversation with James Benning and Sharon Lockhart.
Additionally, the world premier of Lockhart’s “Double Tide,” a new film mediation on the work of a female clam digger in the mudflats of coastal Maine will be held at the Hammer Museum on Thursday, November 19th. Lockhart also is featured in a solo installation of her “Pine Flat Portrait Studio” photographs, a spare series of portraits of children the artist came to know during her four-year stay in rural California, on view until January 3, 2010.
For information on the Hammer screening,
please visit http://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/detail/exhibition_id/171
in our second floor galleries
December 10, 2009 - January 30, 2010
Opening reception: Thursday December 10, 2009 6-8pm
for Sailors, Mermaids, Mystics. for Kustomizers, Grinders, Fender-men. for Fools, Addicts, Woodworkers and Hustlers. (Doubled)
Blum & Poe is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition in the upstairs gallery of new work by artist and filmmaker Drew Heitzler. Heitzler will present a three channel video installation along with a series of two hundred works on paper.
Heitzler’s work focuses on experimental film, though his multi-disciplinary practice often extends beyond the margins of film and video into installations that include drawing, sculpture, photography, and text. This recent project revolves around the impact of the oil industry in US history as a metaphor for social politics, or rather how each mirrors one another in our culture. Through the frame of Hollywood, Heitzler appropriates and re-edits footage from three films from the sixties, The Wild Ride (1960), Night Tide (1961), and Lilith (1964), to construct a trilogy of abstract narratives, in turn revealing an alternate story of veiled politics and plots. The works on paper further lends to the Heitzler’s practice of reconsidering past ideas that were once only latent or neglected, as he assembles a series of seemingly unrelated found images from various sources that act as clues to re-trace a path, or re-tell a story that was never explicitly told.
Even before they reached the airport, something about the light had begun to go weird. The sun vanished behind clouds which grew thicker by the minute. Up in the hills among the oil pumps, the first raindrops began to fall, and by the time Doc and Shasta got to La Brea they were in the middle of a sustained cloudburst. This was way too unnatural. Ahead, someplace over Pasadena, black clouds had gathered, not just dark gray but midnight black, tar-pit black, hitherto-unreported-circle-of-Hell black. Lightning bolts had begun to descend across the L.A. Basin singly and in groups, followed by deep, apocalyptic peals of thunder. Everybody had turned their headlights on, though it was midday. Water came rushing down the hillsides of Hollywood, sweeping mud, trees, bushes, and many of the lighter types of vehicle on down into the flatlands. After hours of detouring for landslides and traffic jams and accidents, Doc and Shasta finally located the mystically revealed dope dealer’s address, which turned out to be an empty lot with a gigantic excavation in it, between a Laundromat and an Orange Julius-plus-car wash, all of them closed. In the thick mist and lashing rain, you couldn’t even see to the other side of the hole.
Doc and Shasta sat parked by the edge of the empty swamped rectangle and watched its edges now and then slide in, and then after a while things rotated ninety degrees, and it began to look, to Doc at least, like a doorway, a great wet temple entrance, into someplace else. The rain beat down on the car roof, lightning and thunder from time to time interrupting thoughts of the old namesake river that had once run through this town, long canalized and tapped dry, and crippled into a public and anonymous confession of the deadly sin of greed . . . He imagined it filling again, up to its concrete rim, and then over, all the water that had not been allowed to flow here for all these years now in unrelenting return, soon beginning to occupy the arroyos and cover the flats, all the swimming pools in the backyards filling up and overflowing and flooding the lots and streets, all this karmic waterscape connecting together, as the rain went on falling and the land vanished, into a sizeable inland sea that would presently become an extension of the Pacific.
Heitzler’s films and film related projects have been exhibited widely internationally, a selection of venues includes, LAX Art, Los Angeles; Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France; the Sculpture Center, New York; PS 1, New York; The Project, New York; Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland; Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire, Bruxelles, Belgium; and Artists Space, New York. Heitzler (in collaboration with artist Amy Granat) was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. He currently has a solo exhibition on view at Renwick Gallery in New York. Heitzler studied at Fordham University, New York, Slade School, London, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and he received his MA from Hunter College. Heitzler was born in Charleston, South Carolina and lives and works in Los Angeles.
For information on the Hammer screening,