Artists: Alika Cooper, Eric Wesley
Venue: Private Places, Portland
Exhibition Title: Wabi Sabi Lobby
Date: February 23 – April 26, 2019
Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Private Places, Portland
With the onset of modernity medieval quartiers were reorganized to allow traffic in urban spaces. These existential places, once created in relation to a certain milieu, relationships to others, common experiences, history, sacrifice, language, race, gender, community goals, were made new, but with a quality reminiscent of the particular places. The relationships were incorporated into the new representation of space.
In the contemporary landscape, space is rather used for hard to name places, stereotypical spaces, non-symbolized surfaces, or no place in particular. Universal places, workspaces, artspaces, outer space, creative space, are transitory spaces. They are plastic. They help to transition places into nonplaces. They are passages from a place to a multiplicity of spaces, from this particular home into the hotel chain or the refugee camp.
Place has become invaded with transitory spaces, freeways, hotel lobbies, parking lots, fast food franchises. Spaces that have no qualitative relationships that might reveal their position in the world. In these spaces there is no organic community. You just follow the signs, the rules of the game, the instructions for use, the itineraries, the prohibitions. You show your ticket, your receipt, your proof of contract with the powers that govern.
Space is always coded, racialized, gendered, but in the hotel lobby everyone, so long as they are a paying customer, is treated the same. The rules are made clear, you follow the signs. It is democratizing to erase your identity and forfeit your community in the space.
Even history gets relegated to a specific position in space, to the function of the spectacle of history . You walk through the gates of the Eiffel Tower and you gawk at history. You buy a postcard and follow the signs. In the tourist postcard the gaze of the spectator becomes the essence of the image, I buy the image of what anticipates my own beholding of the vanishing point in the horizon, the representation of rubbernecking sublime nature. I encounter only this outlook from a position in which you are forced to stand.
Friedrich reverses the gaze back onto her thoughts and feelings that accompany her personal itinerary. Through everyday tinkering she creates a relationship with the road. Where the placeness has been erased and the object of the car was mediating her relationship with others. She imbues this mechanism of alienation, the sensible family car, with feeling.
Alika Cooper (b. 1979, Guam) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received both her MFA and BFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA. Solo and two person exhibitions include Madeline Cake SITUATIONS, New York; Buoy, Odd Ark LA, Los Angeles, Wet Suits Good Weather Gallery, Little Rock; Have A Sex Fort Gondo, Saint Louis; The Disguised Edge MULHERIN, Toronto; UPBRAID Night Gallery, Los Angeles; and GLASS Eleanor Harwood Gallery, San Francisco. She was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant, the MagicTrillium Press Yesland Prize, and the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowship. She has participated in The Viewing Program at The Drawing Center, New York; MOTION PICTURE at The Saint Louis Art Museum; and was Artist in Residence at Galleria Studio Legale in Marzano Appio, Italy and at Marble House Project, Dorset, Vermont.
Eric Wesley was born in Los Angeles, California in 1973, where he continues to live and work. Wesley has held solo exhibitions in galleries internationally as well as at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, Itay. Wesley has participated in group shows at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France; Fundación/Colección, Jumex, Mexico; Museo d’Arte, Benevento, Italy; The Prague Biennial in 2007; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; P.S.1, New York; and the Studio Museum in Harlem. Eric Wesley is also the co-founder of Mountain School of Art (MSA), Los Angeles, CA.