Cherry and Martin: ROBERT HEINECKEN and PAT O'NEILL - 28 Sept 2013 to 16 Nov 2013
Robert Heinecken, Untitled Videogram, 1984
Silver dye bleach print videogram
11 x 14 inches, 27.94 x 35.56 centimeters
SENSING THE TECHNOLOGIC BANZAI
September 28 - November 16, 2013
Opening reception: Saturday, September 28, 4-6pm
2712 S. La CIenega Blvd.
Cherry and Martin is proud to present its second solo exhibition of works by Robert HEINECKEN (1931-2006). The exhibition will focus on a number of works from the second third of Heinecken's career, including color cibachrome print-throughs, videograms and the major installation, 'Waking up in News America' (1986).
Heinecken's "Waking Up in News America" is a significant work that has not been seen in almost two decades. The room-sized installation investigates two of Heinecken's deep concerns: mass media and the affects of one particular form of mass media--the television. "Waking Up in News America" is a room in which every surface--the walls and floors, the figure sitting in a chair and the range of household objects that make up this odd 'domestic' environment--are completely covered in images shot from the TV. The effect is to suggest that we are formed--in every way--by the omnipresent medium.
Trained as a graphic designer and printmaker, Heinecken was long interested in how our sense of self is shaped by news, pornography and advertising, and considered both broadcast and print media throughout his career. For Heinecken, as the saying goes, "we are what we eat." In works going back to the mid-60s, Heinecken's combinations and manipulations of found images and text serve as an important link between historical Surrealism and later Appropriation. But it was in the late 1970s, after a series of major events in his life--including a fire that destroyed his studio in 1976--that Heinecken charts an important new course, injecting his own subjectivity as a thing to be dealt with, purposefully blurring the lines between who he was and who he was assumed to be by the mass media messages that surround us all and make up so much of American visual life.
In the late 70s, Heinecken began experimenting with texts that he either wrote himself or adapted using the language, format and mode of address found in magazine articles and talk television. Initially the images, taken with a Polaroid SX-70, were pictures of Heinecken, his friends and his immediate environment. Later pieces paired texts with images from magazine pages and collaged images from magazine pages. For a series of works entitled "Socio/Fashio Lingerie" (1981), Heinecken presents pairings of magazine collages with lingerie advertising blurbs, often accompanied by a handwritten-text that regurgitates much of the lascivious text of the lingerie blurb. At first, this seemingly handwritten and lascivious text is assumed to be Heinecken's own thoughts. It is only on closer inspection that it reveals to be almost entirely derived from the advertising copy.
As critic Matt Biro writes, "This sort of scripting of experience was being carried out on a much larger scale in the world of television, where the consumer fantasies of corporate broadcasting were irrevocably inserted into the intimate domestic settings of the home." (Matt Biro, "Reality Effects," Artforum, October 2011, p. 255). The text of "Waking Up in News America" presents the viewer as if at the dawn of a new era formed by image and technology: "Waking up in News America with mostly blue eyed blondes. Pretending another Occidental sunrise. Sensing the technologic banzai." "Waking Up in News America" (1986) is a quintessential 80s piece, a statement on the intrusiveness of television, its fantasies and consumerism, all driven by the psychological power of the medium's ability to blend language and image.
Also included in Cherry and Martin's exhibition will be a number of Heinecken's videograms. To make these concrete photographic works, Heinecken held unexposed photo paper up to the television set, turning it on and off to expose the image. For Heinecken, the motif of the TV network newswoman is a favorite narrative foil who seemingly legitimates the madness of the media world. Cherry and Martin's exhibition will also include a selection of Heinecken's magazine print-throughs from the late 80s and early 90s, in which two sides of a magazine page are reproduced as one image, bringing out unexpected associations and meanings.
In 2014, a retrospective of Robert Heinecken's work, organized by Eva Respini with Drew Sawyer, opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (March 15 - June 22, 2014). The show travels to the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (October 5, 2014 - January 7, 2015). A second solo exhibition of Heinecken's work, curated by Devrim Bayer, opens at Wiels in Brussels in May (May 29 - August 17, 2014). Current and recent solo and group museum exhibitions include "Robert Heinecken: Le Paraphotographe," Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva, Switzerland); "The Photographic Object 1970," Le Consortium (Dijon, France); "The Shaping of New Visions: Photography, Film, Photobook," Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); "The Polaroid Years: Instant Photography and Experimentation," The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, NY); "Sinister Pop," Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); and "Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America," Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI). Cherry and Martin's exhibition will run concurrent with an exhibition of the artist's work at Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles focusing on an investigation of Heinecken's "Case Study in Finding an Appropriate TV Newswoman" (1984).
September 28 - November 5, 2013
2732 S. La Cienega Blvd.
For its first exhibition at 2732, Cherry and Martin is pleased to present "Horizontal Boundaries" (2008) by Pat O'Neill. This the first time "Horizontal Boundaries" has been projected in a gallery exhibition in Los Angeles. O'Neill's 23 minute film is also currently on view at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN) through September 29.
For more than 40 years, Pat O'Neill has explored the materiality of film. As Manohla Dargis of the New York Times notes, in the late 1960s O'Neill, "introduced optical printing into his work, a step that allowed him to maximize the medium's plasticity several decades before computer-based composition systems made image manipulation widely accessible. In an optical printer, filmed images are copied onto raw film stock, allowing the filmmaker to subject the images to an array of photographic techniques, including fades and multiple exposures. Optical printers have various industrial uses, but one distinct advantage for film artists is that they allow them to manipulate live-action images the way animators do."
O'Neill's late 60s work reveals a keen interest in the possibilities of expanded photographic practice. A friend and peer of Robert Heinecken, with whom he studied at UCLA, O'Neill was also in close conversation with the Bay Area-based Bruce Conner, East Coast filmmakers like Paul Sharits and Hollis Frampton, and a diverse group of LA-based artists loosely experimenting with the interaction between photography, installation and film (that included people like Carl Cheng and Robert Whitman). O'Neill is lauded as a pioneer in avant-garde film. Early works like "Screen" (1969), now in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, were intended to be presented in art galleries. These pieces explore not only the physicality of film stock, but also the objectness of film, the projected image and its framing. O'Neill's intense physical manipulation of film stock pre-figured many special effects that would later become commonplace in the movie industry. Dargis goes on to point out that, "Los Angeles has also long been home to artists for whom film is neither a blood sport nor the means to a very lucrative end, but a deeply personal expression. One such is Pat O'Neill, a filmmaker who has brushed conceptual elbows with such radically different personalities as the avant-garde pioneer Maya Deren and that consummate commercial moviemaker George Lucas."
"Horizontal Boundaries" takes on Los Angeles as an uncertain subject, a displaced location in space and time. Shot in and around the city with "the intent to produce "synthetic" depictions of locations made up of multiple and disparate parts," O'Neill combines the visual effects with a visceral soundtrack that demands the total attention of the viewer. As O'Neill writes, the goal is to "present an image that is both clearly understood and obviously altered. Altering the imagery from its original photographic state raises inevitable questions concerning its reception: What are we to believe? How is a representation changed by proximity with another? How does contradiction, itself, represent our experience?" And goes on to point out that, "My films share some of the concerns of other experimental filmmakers worldwide: defining parameters for the representation of space and time, exploiting personal experience as metaphor, using archival materials in a restated context."
"The title 'Horizontal Boundaries'," says O'Neill, "refers to the divisions between individual frames arranged one above the other on motion picture film. When 35mm film is projected, it may be seated in the projector's gate in such a way as to reveal, rather than hide, the frame line. This results in an image made of parts of two frames. This artifact is utilized in some shots as an editing device, with the image moving up screen or down screen while continuing to observe temporal continuity. It is also an anxious farewell to the motion picture technology of the twentieth century: celluloid, sprocket holes, silver, dyes, frame lines, dust, and abrasions. It is a hand-made film, at every step in its gathering, ordering, and composition."
Pat O'Neill's work has been seen in live performances and screenings in museums across the world. His work has been the focus of solo and group exhibitions at ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsrhue, Germany); Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris, France); Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, UK); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); Jewish Museum, (New York, NY); The Kitchen (New York, NY); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA); Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA); and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA). His work has been featured in such important exhibitions as "Electric Art" (1969, University of California, Los Angeles); 1991 Whitney Biennial of American Art (1991, New York, NY); and "Art in Los Angeles: 1955-1985;" Centre Georges Pompidou (2005, Paris, France). Pat O'Neill lives and works in Los Angeles.
Cherry and Martin is open Tuesday through Saturday 10am - 6pm and by appointment. The gallery is located at 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034. For press requests and images, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.