The Unreleased Factory
5 September - 6 October 2007
''Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?' - Andy Warhol
Max Wigram Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Slater Bradley. Through a restaging of Bradley's imaginary autobiography, played out by his doppelganger, Benjamin Brock, The Unreleased Factory explores the interplay between reality and fiction, desire and idolization.
With the alluring shimmer of Byzantine icons, Bradley renders his photographs gold by the selective application of gold marker, isolating the individual characters and thus, elevating their status to modern pop icons. Some of the images - Ian Curtis, Kurt Cobain, Michael Jackson, the spaceman, the dog-walker and others - may seem familiar as they have appeared throughout Bradley's earlier film and photographic work. The erasure, through the technique of the gold drawings, not only masks elements of the image, but often reveals more than the originals. This treatment functions to manipulate the photographic flattening of the subject, giving an impression of three-dimensionality. As one moves around an image, the gold marks reveal tonal shifts, creating another dimension on the plane that was previously not visible.
In The Unreleased Factory, Bradley takes the doppelganger idea further in an attempt to rewrite (his) history. He is no longer using the concept as a conduit for new identities, but rather to duplicate the past in the present. Bradley alters the known so that it becomes new and desirable again - recycling and repackaging - evoking Warhol and pop art. The exhibition's title refers not only to Factory Records, and of course, Warhol's factory, but also the generic factory, or its precursor, the Lowell factory, and the idea of efficient mass-production and reproduction.
Born in 1975 in San Francisco, Bradley lives and works in New York. A recipient of the 2005 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in Video (USA), Bradley's recent solo exhibitions include The Doppelganger Trilogy (2005) at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York). Group shows include, among others, Full House - Gesichter einer Sammlung (2006), Gesichter einer Sammlung, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany; Youth of Today (2006), Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt a/M); The Gravity of Art (2005), De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam); Superstars - The Principle of Renown (2005), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) and the 2004 Whitney Biennial (New York).
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