Artist: Simon Denny
Venue: Aspen Art Museum, Aspen
Exhibition Title: Full Participation
Date: May 18 – July 15, 2012
Full gallery of images and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Aspen Art Museum. Photos by Jason Dewey.
Beginning Friday, May 18, 2012, the Aspen Art Museum presents a new body of work by Berlin-based, New Zealand-born artist Simon Denny. Employing a hybrid methodology located somewhere between research project, retail display, and promotional campaign, Simon Denny’s diverse artistic practice reflects on the production, distribution, and consumption of media in an age of accelerated technological obsolescence and cultural overproduction. Through a variety of media, including sculpture, video, and printed canvases, Denny invites us to reflect on form and content in relation to the evolution of television and video as both technologies and cultural forms.
Denny’s exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum grows, in large part, out of his research into the history of Aspen’s own Grassroots Television, the oldest community-access cable channel in the U.S. One new video features GrassRoots footage of Aspen engineer and computer scientist Nick De Wolf speaking about the TV-based community messaging system that he designed and implemented at the station in 1980–81, an early and prescient example of the networked communications that we take for granted in today’s world of Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Inserting this footage into an animation resembling Apple’s iTunes “cover flow,” Denny seems to point to a larger media landscape in which constant change often obscures the endless return of the same. Other works in the exhibition chart the process of selecting and digitally preserving “Women’s Week” (1972), an early reel-to-reel videotape from the GrassRoots archive that has been unviewable for decades. Two additional new works in the exhibition incorporate language and imagery appropriated from advertising and public information campaigns that accompanied the recent changeover from analog to digital television broadcast in Germany and the United Kingdom.
Simon Denny: Full Participation is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the AAM that traces the arc of the artist’s career, with special emphasis on projects realized since 2009. It features a Foreword by AAM CEO, Director and Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson as well as texts by exhibition curator Jacob Proctor, critic Pablo Larios, and conservator Hanna Hölling.
Simon Denny (born 1982) graduated from the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Städelschule) in Frankfurt am Main. Recent solo exhibitions include Cruise Line, NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen; 7 Unreachable Elevators, IMO, Copenhagen; Chronic Expectation: CFS/ME Documentary Restoration, T293, Rome; Corporate Video Decisions, Michael Lett, Auckland, and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York (2011); Negative Headroom: The Broadcast Signal Intrusion Incident, Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg, and Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2010). Recent group exhibitions include That’s the way we do it: The Techniques and Aesthetic of Appropriation from Ei Arakawa to Andy Warhol, Kunsthaus Bregenz; and Based in Berlin, KW Center for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011). He is the winner of the 2012 Baloise Art Prize. This exhibition is organized by the AAM and funded in part by the AAM National Council.
GrassRoots Community Television is the nation’s oldest community-operated television station. Its mission is to protect and nurture open channels of communication for the citizens of Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. It is a full service television production facility with a valley-wide distribution network. For nearly forty years, GrassRoots has helped to strengthen and define the community by enabling all local citizens and organizations to create video programming and communicate with the entire valley. More information at http://www.grassrootstv.org, 970-925-8000, or firstname.lastname@example.org.