December 24th, 2010

Amy Granat, Drew Heitzler at Vidal Cuglietta

Artist: Amy Granat, Drew Heitzler

Venue: Vidal Cuglietta, Brussels

Exhibition Title: Observations on a bowl of fruit bananas

Date: October 30 – December 18, 2010

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Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.

Images:

Images courtesy of Vidal Cuglietta, Brussels

Press Release:

Barbara Cuglietta and Lilou Vidal are delighted to announce the opening of their new gallery in the Dansaert neighborhood, at 5 Boulevard Barthelemy, 1000 Brussels.

For its inauguration Galerie VidalCuglietta is pleased to present a two-person exhibition and a col- laborative project of the New York based artist Amy Granat and the Los Angeles based artist Drew Heitzler.

Still life and an un-still picture: both Drew Heitzler and Amy Granat use the subject as a medium to record and a surface to break. In Observations on a bowl of fruit bananas, they both present a solo work and a new collaborative film. Their last collaborative film TSOYW was a part of the 2008 Whitney Bien- nial and has screened internationally, including China, United States, France and Switzerland.

Drew Heitzler rephrases history in ways that seem both furtive and strangely revealing. In his most recent work, he culls characters, settings, and plots from the visual history of the still-young Los Angeles. Rear- ranging and re-imagining films from the early 1960s, Heitzler creates a narrative that confuses the past in order, paradoxically, to clarify the hidden truths about desire and culture that lurk beneath it.

The new series of paintings and sculptures presented by Drew Heitlzler references the exhibition’s site and echoes an economical and historical vision of Congo and as such, the colonial past of Belgium. While researching the history of the country, the artist discovered that there was a major port in Congo called Banana, which used to be a site of slave exportation and which is now mostly involved in shipping oil: the primary export of the country.

The black rubber bananas of Drew Heitzler interact with history, space and a form of significance. In ad- dition, the paintings realized around the same subject appear as immaterial footprints of the rubber fruit, and the origin of its roots can subtly be perceived… as a slow train of thoughts and forms from LA to Congo, from the port “Banana” to the fence of the gallery in Brussels.

The harmonious whole, which acts as a still life, might be looked at as a vanity towards a strong histori- cal past. Here, the pop Warholian banana pattern, cultural icon and symbol of New York counterculture, is left emptied from its vital substance: only its wounded peel remains. As if irreverence had over- whelmed achievement.

Playing with a notion of trace and (un)visibility, Drew Heitzler’s new paintings naturally resonate with Amy Granat’s photograms.

Amy Granat is best known for her experimental film installations featuring celluloid that has been ma- nipulated by scratching, cutting, or chemical alteration. Her practice though, is wide-ranging, and also includes video, sound, and photography. Granat experiments with the elements of basic photography – a method that emphasizes the intrinsic quality of film, and allows herself to “draw” with light. A physical and very unphysical action at the same time, in both her filmmaking and her photography these aspects of her work reveal a fascination with transparency and opacity, positive and negative space.

When asked to give a statement about this work, she collaborates with the curator and writer Anthony Hu- berman and they re-use a text they wrote together for another body of work, Observations on a bowl of fruit in 2009. Opting to speak about her films and photo’s in terms of fruit – they created the following:

“There are curves and no right angles. Each covered with tiny imperfections, they have rubbed up against reality of the physical world, and they have transformed themselves into small miracles of sur- vival. Whatgivesthemtheirspecificshapesisunclear,butitprobablyinvolvesaprocessthat’sbeen un- derway for years. Some are almost completely round, others only partly so. They look like a funny cast of characters indeed. There is the angry one, with its dents and its scratches. The surface of the shy one is slightly fuzzy. A calm serenity surrounds the confident one, who might also be the oldest one. Names come to mind, somehow, although remain disconnected from any clear reference or story. I’m almost disappointed to find them at a moment when they’re behaving themselves, peacefully co- existing. But the traces of a recent disruption are lingering, and another is surely not too far away. Noth- ing sits still, as the lights and the shadows endlessly push the colors around, the reds getting redder for a second, but then becoming pinker again. At times, they glisten, as if absorbed into a William Carlos Williams world of short-lived balance and harmony. A moment later, they look a bit more lazy and dull.

And so on and so forth.”

Link: Amy Granat, Drew Heitzler at Vidal Cuglietta

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