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Nicole Klagsbrun is pleased to present Portraits\, Maps\ , Texts\, Ben Durham's second solo exhibition with the gallery\, on vi ew from April 12 - May 18\, 2013. In a series of drawings and sculptures\, the artist analyzes cultural and visual systems of identity and place throu gh his explorations of childhood memory and crime.

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Mug shots of chi ldhood friends and classmates are the source material for Durham's Text Portraits\, an ongoing series begun in 2003. Culled daily from an onl ine database\, the subjects have been arrested for a range of violations\, from unpaid fines to murder. Durham has had no contact with his subjects si nce childhood and his work reflects this tenuous connection to the past. Hi s appropriation and hyperrealistic recreation of their mug shots encourages an alternate engagement with the subjects as the image is transposed with written memory. Each portrait is drawn entirely with hand-written text that recounts everything the artist can remember about the subject. As marks ar e repeatedly layered to build the tonal features of the face\, the majority of the content is rendered illegible. The yielding texture of handmade pap er tears under the force of the pencil and words are lost among the palimps est of information.

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Durham's Map Silhouettes subvert the c ultural affiliations and historical values ingrained in the traditional fun ction of stained glass. Acting as both portrait and map\, these works inext ricably bind identity with place. Lead lines weave through the glass to del ineate the contour of the subject's mug shot while tracing the streets wher e they lived and were arrested. A single luminous pane of red glass denotes the location of confrontation where the arrest was made or the crime was c ommitted. Durham's Map Silhouettes stand as difficult yet beautifu l symbols of people and places marked by crime. They are portraits drained of representation and maps without landmarks or street names\, their functi ons of recognition and orientation stripped away.

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Durham's collabor ative sound performance with artist and musician Robert Beatty will be pres ented at Nicole Klagsbrun on May 11\, 2013 from 6-8pm\, followed by a recep tion with the aritst. Working with cassette tape recordings of Durham dicta ting the text from his portraits\, Beatty will create a live processed soun d improvisation while the artist recites the text in front of the audience. Beatty's extensive manipulation of the tape and treatment of the recorded voice as pure sound re-imagines how we transmit and receive information and what we lose in the process. Just as the Text Portraits are const ructed layer upon layer out of written text\, the artist's voice becomes bu ried under its own sound\, creating an experience where narrative is examin ed yet obscured.

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Durham's work has been exhibited in institutions s uch as the National Portrait Gallery in Washington\, DC\, and the 21c Museu m in Louisville\, KY\, and is in several private and public collections inc luding the Whitney Museum of American Art\, NY\, the Hammer Museum\, CA\, a nd the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts\, VA. Durham was born in Lexington\, KY and lives and works in Richmond\, VA.

DTEND:20130518 DTSTAMP:20140424T172922 DTSTART:20130412 GEO:40.7490421;-74.0053562 LOCATION:Nicole Klagsbrun\,532 West 24th Street \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Portraits\, Maps\, Texts\, Ben Durham UID:269166 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130412T200000 DTSTAMP:20140424T172922 DTSTART:20130412T180000 GEO:40.7490421;-74.0053562 LOCATION:Nicole Klagsbrun\,532 West 24th Street \nNew York\, NY 10011 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Portraits\, Maps\, Texts\, Ben Durham UID:269737 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR