Open Studios is an exhibition in video format which features a selection of videos that expose the playful and creative inner workings of the artist studio.
Leidy Churchman (b. 1979, United States), known for his diverse paintings that draw from “the extraordinary junkyard” of art historical and contemporary images, makes video works that transform the screen into a living canvas. For Open Studios, Churchman presents This Color (2008), a video that shows the artist chopping a colorful fruit salad – but in reverse – and Black green black (2011), which shows the artist’s hand assembling a composition of painted objects.
Alex Hubbard’s (b. 1975, United States) videos are shot from multiple angles against a white background. Within the screen of the video, the artist arranges objects – curtains, a metal frame, coffee cups, hooked canes – as if arranging a minimalist still life. In Eat Your Friends (2012) the video’s disorienting multiple screens are filmed from different perspectives – at an angle from above, from straight on, and a bird’s eye view. Bottom of the Top (2012) follows the artist in two inverted live-action screens with an overlaid animation of a smoking pipe – perhaps a reference to René Magritte’s 1929 painting The Treachery of Images and Magritte’s reflection on the insincerity of pictures.
Anna K.E. (b. 1986, Georgia) creates makeshift sculptures and installations that often reference high Modernist architecture, some of which she inhabits in her videos. In Cultural catalyst that drives the popular dialogue globally (2012) the camera follows the artist’s feet as she traverses her studio in pointe shoes – half tiptoeing, half dancing, against the backdrop of the ominous soundtrack of Bach’s Concerto for Piano & Orchestra No. 1 in D Minor. Enough Sugar (2011) follows the artist as she crosses her studio on what appears to be a makeshift raft; eventually, she succeeds in fording the cluttered studio, and closes the open window at the end of the studio.
Though he works in a variety of media, including film, photography, and performance, Chris Larson’s (b. 1966, United States) practice is sculptural at its heart and often involves custom-built environments. In Heavy Rotation (2011) the artist draws a circle on the floor of his studio until the action eventually cuts a hole through the floor. Climbing down a ladder to the almost identical studio revealed below, he repeats the gesture again, revealing a third studio below the second, followed by a magical rotation of the final room.
Image: Chris Larson, Heavy Rotation, 2011. HD video, color, sound; 14 minutes, 46 seconds. Courtesy the artist.