Jane Kim/Thrust Projects is delighted to announce Who are you close to, a group exhibition inspired by Louise Lawler¹s work of the same title, opening on Saturday, March 6, 2010 through April 18, 2010.
Commissioned for the Tel Aviv museum in 1988, Lawler created a set of four postcards with "Who are you close to" printed in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Each cards represents a different color of the Israeli and Palestinian flags: red, green, blue, and black. The piece discusses the problems of relationships, and their often complex nature. The works in the exhibition will allow the audience to engage in a dialog about such complexities and encourages spiritual, political, and cultural responses. Participating artists include Lawrence Weiner, Zolaykha Sherzad, Pat Place, Jack Pierson, Bill Owens, Vik Muniz, Laura Horelli, Erik Guzowski, Michaela Griffo, Alighiero e Boetti, Bianca
Agrimon, and Yasser Aggour. The works in Who are you close to attempt to convey traditions that connect individuals to individuals, places, objects, and moments (familiar, pleasurable and tormenting). Laura Horelli's Karl-marx-allee and kreschatik, 2005, subjectively looks at and compares two Stalinist boulevards in Berlin (where the artist lives) and Kyiv, Ukraine raising questions of belonging and not belonging. Jack Pierson's Untitled, 2009, a photograph of Yves Saint Laurent¹s bibelots in Paris after the designer's death, and Vik Muniz Equivalents 1993, a series of platinum prints of what at first appears to be clouds, but are in fact cotton balls sculpted to form a cat, praying hands, and a rower in a boat, touchs upon the spiritual and intimate aspects of our psyches. Sanford Biggers's single channel video Bittersweet the Fruit, 2002, answers deeper psychological issues of being close to one's captor's, whereas Pat Place's 100 kisses, 2010, an ensemble of one hundred 35 mm photographs shot from television screens reminds us of the intensity of human pathos. Bill Owens photograph Untitled (Girl doing Coke), 1980, Bianca Agrimon's work on paper Paroxysm, 2010, Michaela Griffo's ink drawing We are constantly being told, 2005, and Eric Guzowski's photographs Virtual Violence (Tempe, Arizona), 2001, and Untitled (Cairo), 1999, images of adolescents in a video arcade in Arizona and an amusement park in Cairo, confornts notions of normalcy.
Lawrence Weiner's stencil Moi, Toi, & Nous, 1993, and Alighiero e Boetti's silk embroidered Order Disorder respond to Lawler's piece by using language in art. Zolaykha Sherzad's red silk sculpture with gold calligraphy, representing an abstraction of a burka, and Yasser Aggour's Cairo, 2005, a photograph of the artist¹s cousin with Tom Selleck's portrait humorously revealing how Selleck enjoys considerable affection in the Middle East, expand the east-west theme by re-evaulating sterotypes.
The exhibition Who are you close to asks the viewer to consider their relationships as both individuals and as a collective. Lawler's piece is not meant to ask "Which side are you on?" but rather gives a broader platform for the in between areas of human existence in a world that has increasingly been de-sensitized by technology and media. Every piece is not about taking sides, but about taking stock, about stepping back and considering "Who you are close to," in a meaningful way.