HAMMER PROJECTS: STEPHEN G. RHODES
On view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, June 19 – September 26, 2010
Los Angeles–based artist Stephen G. Rhodes’s multimedia installations darkly theatricalize the historical unconscious, borrowing strategies of pedagogical entertainment found in theme parks, period cinema, and museum displays. When Rhodes takes on a topic, he literally tackles it, ungluing the various parts (overt or subliminal) to reveal the underbelly of his subject. For his first museum solo exhibition, Rhodes debuts an installation that takes as its starting point the TV pioneer Steve Allen’s late 1970s television chat show Meeting of Minds— pre-Bill and Ted’s anachronistic talk show featuring guests from different historical periods where one may find Frederick Douglass and the Marquis de Sade sharing laughs at a roundtable discussion with Niccolò Machiavelli and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The installation on view at the Hammer, Receding Mind: Circle of Shit (2010) (consisting of the destroyed film set and a 360-degree projection), stages a collision of mediums, citations, and narrative contingencies, offering an impossible history lesson that must be negotiated both architecturally and cinematically.
Stephen G. Rhodes was born in Houston, Texas in 1977, raised in Louisiana, and currently lives in Los Angeles. He received a BFA from Bard College, Annandale, NY (1999), and a MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA (2005). Rhodes has exhibited widely in the U.S. and Europe and was included in Prospect 1 biennial, New Orleans, LA; The Generational: Younger than Jesus, the New Museum, New York, NY; and Between Two Deaths, ZKM Center for the Arts and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany. He was also featured in Second Nature: The Valentine-Adelson Collection at the Hammer Museum (2009). Hammer Projects: Stephen G. Rhodes is his first one-person museum exhibition.
This exhibition is organized by Ali Subotnick, Hammer curator.
Hammer Projects is a series of exhibitions focusing primarily on the work of emerging artists.
Hammer Projects is made possible with major gifts from Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy and The Horace W.
Goldsmith Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission;
Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; L A Art House Foundation; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City
of Los Angeles; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.