Artist: Eric Wesley, Martha Rosler
Venue: /, San Francisco
Curated By: Drew Heitzler
Date: March 16 – May 5, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of /, San Francisco
The “home movie,” while ripe with nostalgic allusion, can also be taken at its word(s). In a literal sense, this kind of film, generally 8mm, is situated as both at home and as a picture on the move. The complexity of this relationship puns the complexity of this exhibition. Three home movies from 1974 by Martha Rosler and an 8mm film installation from 2019 by Eric Wesley link the roles of producer and consumer by occupying the liminal space between home and differentiated economic systems.
Flower Fields, Backyard Economy I and Backyard Economy II (Diane Germain Mowing), made while Rosler was living in San Diego, picture a troubled sunny suburbia of labor and leisure. In Backyard Economy I and II, we see a woman silently engaged in the responsibilities of the home, a picturesque economy imposed upon her by social systems of decorum. Disciplines of decor are made even more explicit in Flower Fields, as the trope of the road movie is detoured into an interrogation of modernist painting, invisible labor, and the policing of the other, ending (as it should) with a beautiful sunset.
Timbuctoo (Rough Cuts) is structured around Eric Wesley’s unrealizable desire to visit the civil war wrecked Malian city of Timbuktu. He finds himself, instead, in Timbuctoo, California, apocryphally named after an escaped African American slave who was one of the first miners in the area. Like Timbuktu, this derelict gold rush town is also inaccessible to Wesley, this time due to the privatization of land. Yet, through his system of loitering, the logic of Timbuctoo is exposed, timber is harvested, and a film is made. In the end, an ambiguous site/non-site relationship is developed mirroring the dislocation and ambiguity of Timbuctoo itself, providing raw materials for Wesley’s personal economy of production and consumption, and furthering the logic of his earlier ingestive systems surrounding tobacco, philosophy, banking, and Mexican food.
Martha Rosler was born in Brooklyn, where she continues to live and work. She has exhibited internationally at institutions including the Jewish Museum, New York, Seattle Art Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Centre Pompidou, the Dia Art Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
Eric Wesley lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Fondazione Morra Greco, the Hammer Museum, Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Museo d’arte contemporanea Sannio, the Prague Biennial, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, MoMA PS1, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.