'Boulevards are like people: similar in their youth, they undergo gradual change according to what ferments in them'
M. Ageyev, Novel with Cocaine
Max Wigram Gallery is proud to present Boulevard of broken dreams, a solo show of new works by New York based artist Slater Bradley.
Over the past ten years, Slater Bradley has created a body of video and photographic works referred to as the 'Doppelganger Works' in collaboration with Benjamin Brock, a friend who looks very similar to him and serves as his doppelganger. In this oeuvre, the doppelganger has been on an archetypal hero's journey, embodying the icons that scarred Bradley's adolescence. In the Doppelganger Trilogy, possibly Bradley's best-known work to date, Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain and Ian Curtis are resurrected in fabricated pirate footage, pseudo documentaries lost in the distant decaying space of forgotten archives.
Boulevard of broken dreams displays elements from four new bodies of work and is centred around a new 'doppelganger film' of the same name. The 12 minute long HD video is a pastiche of post-war icons from James Dean to Edward Hopper to Holden Caufield and takes us through the aimless meanderings and psychological meltdown of Bradley's doppelganger. His impending doom is amplified in a 4-channel surround sound installation and echoed in the sidewalk cracks and shop window reflections of glitzy 5th Avenue in New York.
The first floor gallery shows a series of new large black and white nudes, reworked by the artist with silver and gold marker and palladium leaf. The young women portrayed here are de-contextualized, their light flesh popping out of large metallic areas, abstracted from reality like Byzantine Icons. The figures stare out of the photographs with candid gazes, lost in a time of eternal innocence, focusing the viewer's attention on the surface of the image and the immediacy of its beauty. Additionally, a large black and palladium leaf oil painting, The Eternal, appears to shimmer like sunlight dispersing underwater. The painting belongs to a new series of works, which deconstruct the covers of Joy Division's bootlegs and the seminal iconography of the band while fostering the mysteries surrounding its legendary front man.
Finally, aquaseafoamshame, a new 4-channel super8 film installation, traces the UFO-like movements of slowly collecting sea foam across the sand in Ocean Beach, San Francisco. Although this sun-kissed film displays a warm palette of peaches and golds romanticizing a lost time of insouciance, the use of Kodachrome suggests a clinical reflection upon the end of a language. The film fantasizes about the utterance of the last words of a language that has been discontinued and brings this exhibition full circle, poised between desperation and elation.
Slater Bradley (b. 1975, San Francisco, US) lives and works in New York. This year he had a solo show at De Hallen Haarlem (NL) and The Doppelganger Trilogy is part of a semi-permanent exhibition showcasing works from the Guggenheim Collections in the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao. A solo show at Team Gallery (New York) is planned later this year. He has shown in major exhibitions in the US and internationally including solos at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (NY, 2005), the Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, 2007), UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, 2006) and Kunsthalle Mannheim (Germany, 2006). Previous group shows include, among others, Youth of Today (2006) at Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt a/M); The Gravity of Art (2005) at De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam); Superstars - The Principle of Renown (2005) at Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) and the 2004 Whitney Biennial (NY).
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Slater Bradley - Boulevard of broken dreams Press Release as pdf-File