Wallspace is pleased to announce Frowntown, Harry Dodge’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and in New York City.
Over the past four years, Harry Dodge has generated a viscerally affective and prolific multimedia body of work, employing all manner of drawing, performance, video, and sculpture. The trilogy of videos, masses of drawings, and selected sculptures presented here are united by their pointed interest in unnameability, brutality, humor, precariousness and resilience.
The video trilogy of Ipse Dixit (2011), Unkillable (2011), and Fred Can Never Be Called Bald (2011) explores the relationship between language and image, as well as the inexorability of narrative progress or momentum itself, in different tonal and formal registers. Ipse Dixit is a two-minute loop that uses the simplest tools of Final Cut Pro to deliver a short transcription on the end of the world. The black comedy Unkillable investigates the potency of images made from language by means of monologic performance: wearing a mask, Dodge's character performs a “text-story” of a would-be film made up of progressively appalling events. Fred Can Never Be Called Bald uses a combination of text cards, computer voiceover, and a distorted collage of YouTube clips to meditate on the translation of matter into the digitized, virtual world. All three works derive from Dodge’s interest in the collision of our 21st century enthrallment with the virtual world and our continued, often desperate engagement with our own physical bodies and extreme forces of nature, including that of our own mortality.
Dodge’s drawings treat related issues by means of play with captioning, non sequitur, and a near cartoonish, often lewd sense of humor. Some are meticulously rendered, while others remain intentionally more informal. Many circulate around images of prostheses (tools, weapons, artificial limbs) or amorphous blobs, and offer a raucous, reclamatory vision of human despair, comedy, sexuality, and anatomy. The sculptures translate this play into three dimensions, transforming and transvaluing everyday objects (buckets, boxing gloves, motorcycle helmets, salad dressing bottles, kitchen knives, and so on) into the realm of the indefinable and the menacing. No matter what the medium, the work in Frowntown evidences an obsessive, often audacious insistence on that which hovers, at times imperceptibly, “in-between”: be it between states, technologies, genders, or forms of representation.
Harry Dodge has most recently exhibited work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hessel Museum of Art, Pleasure Dome (Toronto), and Curtat Tunnel (Lausanne, Switzerland). Previous collaborative work with Stanya Kahn has been exhibited at locations that include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum, the Getty Institute, the 2008 Whitney Biennial, and in two shows at the Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York City.
The trilogy of videos on exhibit here will also screen consecutively as part of a one-night closing event at The Kitchen on May 2, 2012.