DaCorteBeckman

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Secession Wien
Alex Da Corte
Slow Graffiti
Presse: 5. July 2017 | 10 Uhr
Eröffnung: 5. July 2017 | 19 Uhr
July 6 – September 3, 2017
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
https://www.secession.at/en
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Alex Da Corte
Slow Graffiti
July 6 – September 3, 2017
The US-American artist with Venezuelan roots Alex Da Corte creates works – large-scale installations, videos and paintings – with an immersive effect that visitors to his exhibitions can hardly escape from. They radiate the sensual qualities of his worlds and a subversive humour that always contains resonances of something melancholy or wistful. Da Corte works with everyday items and mass-produced objects that he finds at flea markets, in dollar shops, thrift and home improvement stores. He transforms their original functions and meanings when, for example, he re-explores their formal potential and presents them alongside works by artists who are friends or whom he admires, or uses them as sculptural objects or props in his videos and installations so they can unfold new symbolic power.

The engagement with alienation, the complexity of human experience and various cultural practices is central to Da Corte’s art work. In this context he examines both the cultural and psychological aspects of, for example, desire, but also the uncertainty that the objects he manipulates and repurposes possess. Here, our familiar logic is suspended and its place taken by a state of deception and illusion. Da Corte’s confident (if unorthodox) use of colour is remarkable, as is his skilful melding of (geometric) abstraction and modern design with trivial everyday objects. High culture and pop meet in his works and the references to pop art in general – and its US American West Coast representative in particular – are both conspicuous and manifestly on equal footing.

 

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Photo Alex Da Corte: Matthew Leifheit; Photo Kim Nguyen: private

 

Alex Da Corte, born in 1980 in Camden (New Jersey, USA), lives and works in Philadelphia.
Kim Nguyen is curator and head of programs at The Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Nguyen was formerly director and curator of Artspeak, a longstanding artist-run non-profit in Vancouver, Canada. Between 2011 and 2016 she presented exhibitions and publications with artists such as Valérie Blass, Yuji Agematsu, Abigail DeVille, Aaron Flint Jamison, Danh Vo, and Alex Da Corte. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogues and periodicals. Nguyen is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Emerging Curators in Contemporary Canadian Art and the 2016 Joan Lowndes Award from the Canada Council for the Arts for excellence in critical and curatorial writing. She is currently completing her first collection of writings.
Secession Wien
Ericka Beckman
Game Mechanics
Presse: 5. July 2017 | 10 Uhr
Eröffnung: 5. July 2017 | 19 Uhr
5. July 2017 | 2017 | 7pm
6. July – 3. September 2017
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
https://www.secession.at/en
TheWalker
Ericka Beckman, You The Better (1983/2015), installation view Less Than One
at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo: Gene Pittman
Ericka Beckman
Game Mechanics
July 6 – September 3, 2017

The film and video works of US American artist Ericka Beckman focuses on games and sport competitions and their rules as well as featuring the playing field as an allegory for the development and maintenance of socio-cultural norms.

Beckman, who is recognised today as an important representative of the so-called picture generation, studied in the 1970s at the famous Californian Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts) in John Baldessari’s Post Studio class. The New York No Wave scene with their cross-over mediums was a further important influence on her as was the work of Jean Piaget, the cognitive development psychologist. She has frequently cooperated with artists of her own generation such as Mike Kelley, Matt Mullican, Tony Oursler or James Welling.

Beckman’s films are generally structured like games. The narrative develops out of the subject matter: accumulation, competition and the organisation of thoughts and memories by means of rules, symbols and symbolic thought. The protagonists are not actors but act as players. In the process the artist reflects on new and emerging technical advancements such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and computer games, something she has done from very early on in their development.

The 16mm film, Cinderella (1986) is a good example here. Frequently interpreted as a feminist film, Beckman staged it as a seemingly surrealist fairy story. The heroine appears to be trapped between her work at an industrial kiln and dancing with the prince in the ballroom and is only able to liberate herself from the rules of the game when she realises that she does not have to return home at midnight, but can do so whenever she wishes.

A pulsating beat, stop-motion animation and superimposed forms and gestures are characteristic for Beckman’s film works which she creates using multiple exposures of the analogue film material. Since 2000 camera choreography, which Beckman mainly uses for the deconstruction of architecture, has been gaining in significance. In her most recent film, Tension Building (2014), the artist superimposes animated shots of an architectural model of a US football stadium with time lapse material of an Italian stadium during the fascist era. The film is dedicated to college football, the linkage between sport and the armed forces and the basic structure of experiences. At the same time it confronts fundamental filmic issues such as the melding of the realms of the imaginary and the real, the regulation of time and space, and movement and the interruption of movement.

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