Artist: Drew Heitzler
Venue: LAXArt, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Untitled (Baldwin Hills)
Date: May 16 – June 20, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
LA><ART is pleased to present a new video installation by artist and filmmaker Drew Heitzler. The third chapter in a trilogy of works that address Los Angeles’ cultural history and urban landscape through the lenses of Hollywood cinema and the Los Angeles oil industry, Lilith (for Fools, Addicts, Woodworkers, Hustlers) hinges upon footage appropriated from the1964 film Lilith. Heitzler’s re-edit of the popular film allows for the emergence of new narrative arcs, repositioning Peter Fonda-in his first major motion-picture role-as the film’s central protagonist. The two previous projects from this series have focused on roles performed by Dennis Hopper in Night Tide (1961) and Jack Nicholson in The Wild Ride (1960), where their respective relationships to Los Angeles within the context of each film are explored through a process of revision. Resembling early Soviet cinema that pieced together new stories from the discarded fragments of found stock footage, Heitzler’s process relies on the conventions of editing to reposition the relationship that characters have to the city and its histories.
Lilith (for Fools, Addicts, Woodworkers, Hustlers) focuses on the figure of Stephen Evshevsky, played by Fonda, as he moves in and out of a series of deflated exchanges. Removing the dramatic tensions, dialogue, and linearity of the original film’s narrative, Heitzler’s re-edit imagines the psychosexual unease that underlies what is visible. An extended scene of rushing water alludes to the Baldwin Hills reservoir collapse of 1963-a disaster that resulted from the over-drilling of oil in this neighborhood. Within the context of a broader project, Lilith (for Fools, Addicts, Woodworkers, Hustlers) highlights the intersections of the movie industry and the clandestine Los Angeles oil industry, wherein the obscured histories of catastrophe, menace, and social decay are brought to the surface.
Drew Heitzler currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Hunter College in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include Untitled at Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles (2008) and Ladera Heights at Angstrom Gallery, Los Angeles (2007). His work has been included in such group exhibitions as 88:88 at The Project in New York (2007), Subway Sessions at PS1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, New York (2006), In Practice at the Sculpture Center in Long Island City, New York and recently in the 2008 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Drew Heitzler: Untitled (Baldwin Hills) is made possible with the generous support of LA><ART’s Curators Council, an anonymous donor, and Lisa Schiff.
Link: Drew Heitzler at LAXArt