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PROXY GALLERY is delighted to present the exhibition All the Hallways by Joanne Mitchell. The work is a compilation of shots from Chantal Akerman’s film Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) that take place in a hallway.

In her video Mitchell highlights the structural techniques that Akerman used to call attention to the mundane, the everyday and the transitional, the very elements that give meaning to the action, the climax and the plot twist.  By selecting the hallway as the organizing principle, Mitchell focuses on the movements of the protagonist into and out of rooms.  Through Mitchell’s restructuring, Akerman’s predilection for long takes is abandoned to foreground its counter: cuts and repetition.  The resulting re-articulation of woman in space privileges motion over stasis, busyness over waiting.

 By extension, Mitchell’s video considers Proxy Gallery itself, similarly located in a secondary, marginal hallway outside the administrative offices in Graduate Fine Arts in Culver City.  The transitional hallway, both in the film and in the building of Proxy Gallery, is thrust center stage and instead of serving as a conduit to more important things, it becomes the protagonist itself, reversing and calling into question the hierarchies of value.

Joanne Mitchell

DECEMBER 1, 2014 to JANUARY 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Wed. Dec. 10, 6-8 pm

PROXY GALLERY is delighted to host the installation Sky Box by artist Nicola Goode.

 The “fourth wall” of Proxy gallery is covered by a piece of acetate printed with a photo of a vintage painted cinematic backdrop, representing the sky. The acetate does not reach the top of the gallery, thus emphasizing its illusionistic purpose and also betraying it by revealing its limits. Through the translucent acetate and through the gap at the top, the viewer can see herself in the mirror that is affixed to the back “wall” of the gallery. In this way both illusionism and materiality are completely rendered visible.

Goode reinterprets the earliest traditions of landscape photography while capturing the material presence of the passing analogue age. She shows a digital photograph of a hand painted backdrop meant to represent the real sky in a small box that functions almost like a camera, except that the representation of the landscape is inscribed in the lens itself.

Nicola Goode

FEBRUARY 1 - 28, 2015
Closing Reception: Wed. Feb. 25, 6-8 pm

PROXY GALLERY is delighted to host the installation Proxy Mailbox by Jennifer Lanski.

The installation, turning the Proxy Gallery into a mailbox, will consist of a series of handmade envelopes and postcards that will be mailed by Lanski to Proxy over the course of the month of March 2015. The envelopes will be opened during the opening reception near the end of the month, while the postcards will be available to view and handle throughout the exhibition. Here the meticulous adherence to USPS rules (various stamp configurations that add up to 34 cents), both facilitating and prohibitive, points to their absurdity.

 Laski’s conceptual rigor uses the tools of rationalism both to impose order and to reveal its fissures: by focusing on the numerical aspect of experience she emphasizes the materiality of the work of art that cannot be reduced to virtuality. The stamps and their arrangement are like little geometric abstractions with a humorously deterministic vocabulary. The fixed-size rectangles (stamps) with fixed images on them, become form as content. The medium becomes the message.

Jennifer Lanski

MARCH 1 - 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Thurs. March 26, 6-8 pm

For the month of April 2015 Proxy Gallery is hosting the installation Exchange by artist Susan Silton.

 Putting objects and ideas into circulation has long been of interest to Silton.

 For “Exchange” she blocked the entire fourth wall of Proxy Gallery with a cardboard box of expired Agfa photo paper given to her by the gallery owner, with the name Sekula and the date1986 hand-printed on it.  A peephole allows the viewer to look inside the gallery and read a hand-written message that interrogates the identity of the viewer and highlights the importance of writing—not speaking—a communication that normally relies on voice recognition. The viewer then is in the position to mentally answer the question thus becoming aware of their own subjectivity and also questioning the question. This interrogation of identity is not unlike a computer asking for a password before it lets us in, something that galleries do not normally ask of viewers.

 The theme of voice or its absence, its corporeality and relation to identity has also been a significant motif that traverses this and other works of Silton’s.

 The implied exchange between the two sides of the peephole emphasize the interiority of the box, the voice silent or silenced. The same and different become entangled in multifaceted levels of exchange: foremost is the fact of receiving the AGFA box and  giving the box back embedded in another box, the Proxy Gallery. The cardboard box looms gigantic in blocking the contents of the gallery, but it stands for both packaging and content of the exhibition. The disembodied and silent written text activates anew the exchange between box and viewer/reader.

Susan Silton

APRIL 1 - 30, 2015

Proxy Gallery is happy to host the installation Untitled #53 by Luis G. Hernandez. It consists of a vertical book-sized piece of wood with the phrase “IN 2015 THIS INSTITUTION STILL FEELS TOO WHITE” written in white vinyl upper-case letters. The whole rectangle and the letters are painted over with white paint.

The declarative phrase leaves no doubt or ambiguity in its criticism of the prevalent yet invisible—because largely unexamined—institutionalized whiteness of art, cultural and educational institutions.

​This invisibility is expressed in the white-on-white writing that becomes more illegible the more it is lit.   The beginning of the phrase, “IN 2015,” locates the work temporally, but not spatially. It also reveals an expectation of progress and the disappointment in its absence. “White” here describes the hegemonic and the aspirational, not just the color of persons. “Feels” is another key word that both tempers the declaration and also gives it its crucial intersubjective meaning: the Institution “feels” white (it has feelings) and the artist “feels “ that the institution is too white. With this word the installation transgresses the very conceptual tradition in which it is rooted, to touch on another invisible prohibition, that of “feeling.”

 Language does not have a size, but typeface does: It is no accident that Hernandez used the “neutral” modernist Helvetica font and a white-on-white scheme that, in addition to the unconventional word breaks, makes the piece slow to read. The whiteness is blinding. The institution referred to could be the Proxy Gallery, Otis College (where the Gallery is situated and where Hernandez earned his MFA in 2003) or any institution where the work could be placed. In that sense the installation becomes the epitome of the “empty” signifier that is anchored wherever it is located, absorbing rather than emitting meaning. The dream of showing our work in a white gallery here becomes action and also demonstrates its unspoken limits.

Luis G. Hernandez

MAY 5 - JUNE 30, 2015

In July and August 2015 Proxy Gallery presents “Countless Grey”, a solo project by Los Angeles-based Sweet Samson. The installation consists of round coin-sized pieces of carbon fiber in different greys attached to all five surfaces of the all-white Proxy.

​The installation presents a seemingly paradoxical combination: On the one hand the tenets of classic minimalism call for formal abstraction and industrial materials devoid of subjective emotion. On the other hand Samson inserts into this equation childhood memories of playing with Rubble coins in her native Russia. The carbon fiber, or anthracite, relates to rubbings of coins made with graphite, and the sizes of the little disks are anchored in the size of Russian and American coins. 

“Proxy” becomes both the interior space of memories and simultaneously an exhibiting space and physical supportive structure for the work, while the monetary face value of the coins completely recedes from the picture. In this way the installation aspires to disturb our assumption that formalism and autobiography are incompatible.

Sweet Samson

JULY 1 - AUGUST 31, 2015
Closing Reception: MoN. Aug. 31, 6-8 pm

Proxy is happy to host an exhibition of new paintings by Lari Pittman.The exhibition’s title posits an antagonism between Goncharova’s Rayonism, an avant-garde movement of the 1920s, and its putative opposite, the folkloric. It then proposes an erotic collision, (a public kiss) between them. The encounter takes an ironically libidinal, or queer, form that is further emphasized by the oblique positioning of the monumental paintings on the right and left dark grey “walls” that, due to the scale of the gallery, can never be seen straight on.

 Typographical elements and colors evoke a historical past that is updated without inhibitions. “Fix it now” might be an admonition of the artist to himself, or a prod to the viewer to mentally stabilize an impermanent state. There are dotted lines, hints of Japanese Samurai dress, a lady in African headdress, airbrushed corners. This anchoring in history and/as myth is one of Pittman’s signatures; however, there is no linguistic or theoretical shortcut to “understanding” his paintings: we have to keep looking.

Lari Pittman

SEPTEMBER 1 - 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Wed. Sept. 16, 6-8 pm

During October 2015 Proxy is hosting “Long Exposure,” an exhibition by artist Nathan Gulick.  

A digital screen, behind a view hole, contains about 62,000 pictures that Gulick took. The bottom of the gallery is covered by a floor length red velvet “curtain” reminiscent of peep shows, old theater houses or Catholic confessional booths. The “floor” of the gallery is open, and each viewer is invited to select, enlarge, or scroll along this exciting yet mundane collection.
The exhibition seeks to approach the condition of cinema, (darkness, intimacy) yet makes use of the unique memory and remote access capabilities of the digital screen, a window to an unseen and unknowable infrastructure, to make possible the biggest ever one-person exhibition in the smallest possible space. The viewer is the curator who, faced with a huge unclassified database, has to not simply see, but decide what they are looking for or at.

 Intimate yet impersonal, trivial yet important, private and public, thrilling or boring, the pictures epitomize one of the contemporary conditions of digital photography: its proliferation, ubiquity, erasability and instant shareability. We are faced with ephemeral data, pixels on a screen, that bypass the print. They are infinitely reproducible but gone at the moment you lose power or you click delete.

From the outside, the personification and erotization of the gallery adds a melancholic sculptural alibi: it expresses the forward looking and the backward looking of digital photography, and the dilemma of the artist-photographer in the digital age.

Nathan Gulick

OCTOBER 6 - 31, 2015
Opening Reception: Wed. Oct. 14, 6:30-8:30 pm

"Writing is trying to find out what we would write if we wrote” Marguerite Duras

Guy Bennett's installation "This Space Available" is part of his “Nearly Actualized Works,” a textual project  that describes potential works in other media. In this case, four cards with written text are placed on the four corners outside of the gallery. Here Bennett leaves the gallery “empty” but “fills” it with possible texts that demarcate the space and point to the utopia of pure form without content, or form as content.

 The effect is a mise en abyme or an endlessly self-referential recursive loop (think the endlessly unbegun biography of Tristram Shandy) whereby the piece is never made, or has not been actualized, but paradoxically it is made real by revealing the process of planning, which, since it becomes content, implies another process of planning behind it, and so on ad infinitum, proposing that there is no zero degree of creativity.

In addition to exposing thought process, the texts around the gallery invite the possibility of politicizing real estate; thus the empty space is “available” for thoughts about many things, police brutality, homelessness, nuclear weapons, et al.

Guy Bennett

NOVEMBER 1 - 30, 2015
Opening Reception: Wed. Nov. 4, 6-8pm

Proxy Paris présente l’exposition personnelle de l’artiste américaine Renée Petropoulos
a la Galerie Ygrec 

Monument 1 - conjugation

Pour ceux qui connaissent le Monument à la Troisième Internationale de Vladimir Tatline (ou Tour Tatline, 1919-1920), cette sculpture de Petropoulos soulève la question de la référence à posteriori faite à un artefact historique: près de cent ans après, une œuvre “grandeur nature” nous est présentée dans une galerie à petite échelle, rappelant ainsi la maquette d’un projet inachevé. Ce geste historique réparateur nous projette à la fois dans le passé, comme dans le futur.

Inscrits sur acétate et papier à hélices, les signifiants « vides » here, there, you are, I am s’enclenchent dans une perpétuelle auto-réflexivité et une relativité, une négociation entre ce qui est perçu et ce qui pourrait être su: le langage ici s’incarne à la fois dans une forme matérielle et abstraite, constituant de façon performative la façon dont l’histoire est faite de façon intime et est toujours modifiée par un ajustement de perspective et la position d’un sujet.

Ici, le spectateur, incapable de faire le tour de l’oeuvre, est forcé de considérer la sculpture, le langage et l'histoire comme autant de fragments, presque comme une photographie.  L’oeuvre fait revenir à l'expérience de la photographie en noir et blanc du style de Tatline , et attire l'attention sur les inflexions des connaissances de l'histoire.

Renée Petropoulos

December 4, 2015 - January 23, 2016
Vernissage: 3 Decembre 2015, de 18-21 hrs

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