Double Faced Broken 3/1 Twill Rag Rug, 2011, (constructed primarily of remnants of Heather Cook’s more well-known fabric works) is a piece carefully placed in the gallery so as not to impede the entrance and lies there politely welcoming and ushering me towards Routine 7 Fold with Shadow, a hanging piece of black fabric with sinuous folds and creases that, upon closer inspection are in fact flat, trompe l’oeil snapshots made with bleach.
In Backside, 2011, two free-standing walls painted in the same neutral white as the rest of the gallery are lined up neatly with the existing lines in the polished concrete floor. The pair of walls, with their u-shaped cutouts, beckon for a closer inspection. On the back—which is actually the front—there is a pair of over-sized and strikingly worn-in denim back pockets that cover the drywall. The piece invokes the body, painting, photography, minimalism, architecture, time, touch, the seen and unseen. This exhibition reads like a double entendre that yearns to be spoken, heard and unpacked.
Heather Cook, Backside, (two details) 2011. Drywall, wood, screws, paint and denim frottage. 84 x 178 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches
Lean Repeat incorporates an image of the artist as a young girl in a tidy formal construction that pits architecture against the body, past against present, singular against ubiquitous. The piece, made in an edition of two, is installed twice—across the gallery is a near-identical construction with the only difference being the size and orientation of the constructed walls. Both are determined by the dimensions of the space.
Heather Cook, Lean Repeat, 2011. Black and white photograph, drywall, wood, screws, paint. Photo 20 x 16 in. Wall dimensions variable. Ed. 1/2
The installation as a whole is clearly not an exhibition of disparate works but rather a carefully conceived depiction of the musings and methodologies of a practice that seems to delight in nuance, duality and an expansive construction of meaning.
Top Image: Installation view, Heather Cook, May 14, 2011 - June 18, 2011, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles) Photography: Fredrik Nisen. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles