New Works 04.1
New Works: 04.1
March 18 ?y 9, 2004
Michel François Brussels, Belgium
Oliver Herring Brooklyn, New York
Michael Velliquette San Antonio, Texas
About the Artist
Oliver Herring has captivated audiences with performances, knitted
objects, and lyrical, movement-based videos. Under Herring's hand these
profoundly disparate media are intertwined and constantly tested. They
become contemplative, sensual, and pregnant with issues of time and human
The elegance of Herring's sculptures, hand-knitted with strands of silver
mylar or treated wood, is due to their laborious process and their soulful forms.
After weaving a number of solitary objects that reference time and mortality (a
queen-size bed, an open coat, an empty chair), Herring worked from video
stills to imbue stationary objects with a sense of actual motion. Double
Rocker (1999), a life-size rocking chair and body knit out of mylar, shows
successive motions of rocking at once? chair has two backs, and the
person that has propelled it is physically shown twice. In the piece a static
medium carries the expressive weight of a performance.
In 1999, breaking from the solitary act of knitting, Herring delved further
into interactivity with video. Herring loosely choreographs people into
synchronized actions that are filmed in stop-motion. The results are minutes-
long, looped works that transform humans, movements, and props into
compelling sequences. Increasingly he plays with the unpredictable. In the
series Basic (2003) he took out ads inviting anyone interested to come
work with him in his studio. The videos produced from the improvised sessions
feature strangers thrown together into unrehearsed dance-like movements that
are paired with music.
Oliver Herring was born in Germany. He received an MFA from Hunter
College, New York, NY in 1991 and has lived there since. Solo exhibitions
include Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, FL (2002); the Cleveland
Center for Contemporary Art, OH (2001); the Camden Art Center, London,
England (1997); the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (1996); and the
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY (1993). His work will be
included in a forthcoming group show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY
About the Project
Further increasing the element of chance, for his residency project Oliver
Herring has left the studio and formed connections with people in their
spaces. The artist conducted photo and video sessions with people he met in
San Antonio, letting them determine where and what they would do for the
camera. The interactions have yielded distinct pieces that meld aspects of
performance with photography. Bridging Herring's past performances, objects,
and videos, the project pushes a static medium to become cinematic.
The centerpiece is Do Two Monologues Make a Dialogue?, a linear pair
of snapshot sequences that intersect in on a gray wall. The images result from
the trust Herring built with people in diverse worlds. One storyline features
teenage girls hanging out after school; the other focuses on a young man who
teases the camera with his body and his possessions. Like a movie unfolding,
each image is a successive moment?il the two worlds collide in the center.
For a single photograph, the girls replace the man in his living room, casting
doubt on the idea that snapshots are truthful, and suggesting that these stories
could be a fiction, with no actual beginning or end.
The Day I Persuaded Two Brothers To Turn Their Backyard Into A Mud Pool
is constructed to mimic a newspaper. The editioned piece is filled with
images of brothers horsing around in their muddy backyard. The format
confounds expectations of an objective, linear story on the very pages of a
medium that is assumed to be just that. In another work, a vitrine, strategically
frosted, sits atop a long table. Windows have been left clear, framing photos
taken backstage at the rodeo. The images are further filtered and fetishized
with red and black marker, resulting in a multitude of slightly erotic narratives
of cowboys stretching, dressing, and waiting.
With his residency project Oliver Herring has continued an investigation of
intimacy while subverting a static medium. Here photography expresses the
simultaneously fractured and cohesive nature of life.
March 18 ?y 9, 2004
Thursday, March 18, 6:30-8:30 PM
Friday, March 19, 6:30-8:00 PM
Featuring Michel François, Oliver Herring, and Michael Velliquette. Moderated
by Lawrence Rinder, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New
York, New York.
Brown Bag Lunch
Wednesday, April 14, 12:00-1:00 PM
Join Education and Curatorial Associate Kate Green for a tour of New
Works: 04.1 and a brown bag lunch provided by Sip. Please call Artpace
Look For It
By mid-April Oliver Herring will have completed several videos shot while in
residence. Look for them at Artpace.
All events held at Artpace, 445 N. Main Avenue. Free parking at Flores Street
and Savings. Artpace is open to the public Wednesday thru Sunday, 12-5pm,
Thursday until 8pm and by appointment. There is no charge for
Artpace San Antonio serves as an advocate for contemporary art and as
a catalyst for the creation of significant art projects. We seek to nurture
emerging and established artists and to provide opportunities for inspiration,
experimentation, and education. Our programs support the evolution of new
ideas in contemporary art and cultivate diverse audiences while providing a
forum for ongoing dialogue.
The International Artist-in-Residence program is supported by The Andy
Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the
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