Artist: Glenn Ligon
Venue: Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Live
Date: September 10 – October 10, 2015
Full gallery of video, images, press release and link available after the jump.
Glenn Ligon, Installation view of Live, 2014. Documentation video by Jeremy Eichenbaum.
Images and video courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Photos by Joshua White. Video by Jeremy Eichenbaum.
Regen Projects is pleased to announce Live (2014), a seven screen, silent video-installation by New York based artist Glenn Ligon. Taking its title and material from the renowned performance “Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip (1982),” Ligon continues a dialogue with the comedian’s work, one that began with a painting series using stenciled Pryor jokes (1994 – 2007). This exhibition marks the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.
“I’ve removed the sound from the concert so really you just have the body performing, and Pryor was a very physical comedian. A lot of his comedy involved the body and I was interested in how the body can communicate without sound. How a meaning is conveyed, even though you don’t hear words.” Glenn Ligon, Camden Arts Centre, 2014.
The material in Pryor’s 1982 concert included a frank discussion of his freebasing accident and recovery. It captured a sober and reflective Pryor, at the height of his creative powers and in full mastery of his audience. In this seven channel reworking of the film only a single screen offers a 1:1 scale of Pryor’s full body. The other six screens center on a particular feature of Pryor’s anatomy: his left hand, his right hand, his head, his mouth, his groin, and his shadow. The particular subject on each screen has been cropped and continually occupies the center of its frame but only appears on each screen when that part of the body is visible in the original film, requiring the viewer to constantly move around the installation as the screens flicker off and on.
“Live’s focus on the body has affinities with Notes on the Margin of the Black Book (1991-1993) but also with the Runaway series (1993). Like those pieces, Live poses questions about how training your gaze on one aspect to the exclusion of others leads to an overall construct of masculinity, race, sexuality—by the gazer, not the subject of the gaze.” Megan Ratner, Glenn Ligon, Camden Arts Centre, 2014.
Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) lives and works in New York. His solo exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London (2014-15); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011); The Power Plant, Toronto (2005); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2001); Kunstverein, Munich (2001); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2000); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (1998). His work was included in Documenta XI (2002); in two Whitney Biennials (1991, 1993); and currently All the World’s Futures at the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia (May 9 – November 22, 2015). Encounters and Collisions, a curatorial project done in collaboration with Nottingham Contemporary and Tate Liverpool is currently on view until October 18, 2015.
He is a board member of the Foundation for Contemporary Art and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the Studio Museum’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize (2009); the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (2006); a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2003); and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997).
Recent monographs and publications on his work include A People on the Cover (Ridinghouse Press, 2015); Encounters and Collisions (Nottingham Contemporary and Tate, 2015); Come Out (Ridinghouse Press, 2014); Glenn Ligon: AMERICA (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2011); Yourself in the World: Selected Writings and Interviews (Yale University Press, 2011).
Ligon’s work is held in the permanent collections of museums worldwide including Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; among others.