Callicoon Fine Arts is pleased to present War Credits, an exhibition by Sadie Benning, the artist’s first one-person show with the gallery, featuring new paintings and a recently completed video. Opening on April 7th, with a reception from 6 - 8pm, the exhibition will run through May 12, 2013.
War Credits (2007-2013) is a black and white 16 minute video loop installed on a single channel reference monitor. The footage that comprises the work was gathered by rescanning laser disk images from three Hollywood war films.
Created by using both VHS and a Panasonic tube camera, the footage specifically takes aim at the ending title sequences.
When the scroll of credits is reframed and reshot, the once legible image of names and ranking becomes blown out, approaching the redacted—highlighting the form, template and loss of legibility from the original production. With each pass or rescan the video becomes imbued with visual noise, a form of generation loss. What once made sense as a readable and familiar experience is now put into question.
What is an ending when it comes to war? How do we understand narrative logic when we face loss, death or trauma? The logics of duration and chronology become obscured and abstracted. Furthermore how are we collectively responsible for what we produce?
In Red and White Painting (2013) the core oval shapes oscillate from middle point of origin, radiating across the matte and buffed surface, drawing attention to the frame edges and pulling ones gaze on and off the sculpturally fragmented sequence.
The painting constructed of wood and plaster has been hand sanded, cut out with a jigsaw, and coated in layers of primer and milk paint—hanging frozen in time, a sort of still. Yet it also moves and ripples outward to suggest that time in the painting is in dialogue with a kind of infinite and expandable ambient space.
The viewer is asked to fill in the missing parts, to participate in seeing, to help reconstruct what is there with what isn’t there.
In Blue and White Painting (2013) the zig zag trajectory beginning at right hand lower corner spans diagonally across the gapped and rejoined surface. Made of wood, plaster, primer and milk paint the work proposes a conversation between mediums— like a signal extending-- sculpture, drawing, painting, painting, drawing, sculpture.
It is the handmade tactility of the wall reliefs which fosters a human contact and scale, that brings the overwhelming anxieties that war produces into physical perspective and it is the singular physicality of the individual, the safety and rights of a citizen, that seems most at risk in the “war on terror”-- a war that bounds on in perpetuity, with no transparency, credit list, or ending in sight.
Sadie Benning was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1973 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Benning received an M.F.A. from Bard College where she is currently co-chair of the film and video department. She is a former member and cofounder of the music group Le Tigre. Benning’s work had been exhibited internationally since 1990 and is in many permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, The Fogg Art Musuem, and the Walker Art Center. Her work is currently included in NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum and in Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel; and has been included in: Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); Whitney Biennial (2000 and 1993); American Century, Whitney Museum of Modern Art (2000); and the Venice Biennale (1993). Solo exhibitions include Wexner Center for the Arts, Orchard Gallery, Dia: Chelsea and The Power Plant. This year Benning will be included in the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA.