Kathleen Daniel • Gary Eastwood • JGM1138 • Tony Law • John Lawrence • Eva & Franco Mattes • Sheldon Nadelman • Aura Satz • Michael Smith
Pre Owned: Looks Good Man is a group exhibition inspired by temporary networks of association and meaning that are produced when culturally aware web surfers visit disparate websites, or drift through the internet. It seeks to use the characteristics of this browsing, specifically drawing on recurrent themes of search that seem to direct such activity, as a curatorial model informing the selection criteria for artworks on display.
To unravel and personalise the paragraph above, this exhibition has essentially evolved out of my own online research activity as a writer and curator, specifically what happens when that directed research goes awry. I wanted to put aside net scepticism – i.e. critical reflections on dataveillance, social media sites as surreptitious content farms, the hollowness of digital imagery, the monetisation of attention and so on - in order to focus on the process of losing oneself through browsing, for better or for worse, down a rabbit hole of nodal hyperlinks.
I found the most common themes that contained images and information absorbing enough to spark a deep hyperlink trawl, for me, fell under two categories: archival histories and questionable realities - i.e. information and images about which the truth is in doubt. So, with the idea of creating an exhibition featuring pieces that were also conceptually deep enough for other viewers to get lost in, I sought out artworks that spoke to those themes.
For example, on the side of archival histories sits photographer Sheldon Nadelman, his nine-year project of photographing regulars at the New York bar he owned between 1973-82 has resulted in a vast collection of portraits. On the side of questionable realities is Eva and Franco Mattes’s classic Darko Maver project, featuring a fictional artist created from images and information pulled from the web.
Admittedly archival histories and questionable realities are not novel themes, but then novelty isn’t the point here. What is being aimed at with this exhibition is the creation of an ontological interstice. In less esoteric terms, I wanted to create a space in which the business of being you disappears for a moment. This once happened to me during an hour-long online search, kick-started by a stonewashed denim jacket for sale on Ebay. It was customised with a large painted portrait of the actor Nicholas Cage and cost $199.99. The condition was described as: pre owned: "looks good man".
Kathleen Daniel, AKA Silicious, AKA Kat D, is a visual artist, musician and animator born in Minneapolis, currently based in Berlin. Her works are predominantly hosted and distributed online through her own portal ‘Duh Real’ and various web based publications and curatorial projects including Rhizome.org, DIS magazine, The Creators Project, ComputersClub.org and MOCAtv (the online incarnation of Los Angeles Musuem of Contemporary Art). Her most recent group exhibition was Aboveground Animation: 3D-Form (2012) hosted online by the New Museum, New York.
Gary Eastwood has been an Ebay account holder since 01 August 2008.
JGM1138 has been a YouTube account holder since 11 September 2011
Tony Law is an artist based in Beijing. He received an MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London (2011) and BFA Photography, Parsons School of Design, New York (2001). Recent exhibitions include Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2012), III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow (2012), Out: Art from Goldsmiths, Ingenious Media, London (2011), Group exhibition, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow (2006), Landscape of Sur-consuming, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China (2002). Awards and residencies include Asia Pacific Artist Fellowship Programme, National Art Studio, Seoul (2012), Fulbright Fellowship (2002).
John Lawrence is a London-based artist whose work deals with the contemporary mediated experience. Working across text, object, video and print Lawrence reconfigures familiar cultural tropes to open out meaning and offer up new readings within a common popular language. Recent shows include ONSITE selected by Mike Nelson and Andrew Hunt, Temporary Arts Project, Southend, and Nothing Compares 2 U with Hannah Perry, Mark Dean and Jaakko Pallasvuo, SICspace, Helsinki. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools and alongside his practice organises the touring video and performance project After/Hours/Drop/Box, which focuses on the influence of the music video on contemporary art.
Eva and Franco Mattes, pioneers of Net Art (previously known as 0100101110101101.org), have developed a practice that both inhabits the web and skillfully subverts mass media to ultimately expand into and affect physical space. Selected solo exhibitions include Site Gallery, Sheffield; Galeriji Vigalica, Ljubljana; [plug.in], Basel; Postmasters Gallery, New York. Their work has been included in numerous group shows and biennials such as Collection Lambert, Avignon; Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz; New Museum, New York; NTT ICC Museum, Tokyo; Manifesta, Frankfurt; Performa, New York; MoMA PS1, New York, and the Venice Biennale. They received the Jerome Commission from the Walker Art Center and a fellowship from Columbia University, New York.
Sheldon Nadelman is a photographer and former bar manager currently based in New Jersey. From 1973 - 1982 he took 2,600 pictures, 1,500 of which were portraits of regular and occasional clientele at the Terminal Bar, situated across the street from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York.
Aura Satz is a London-based artist who has performed, exhibited and screened her work nationally and internationally, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Hayward project Space, Barbican Art Gallery, ICA, Jerwood Space, the Wellcome Collection, BFI Southbank, Whitechapel Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and Beaconsfield Gallery (London); the Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdam); the New York Film Festival (NY); Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne); Zentrum Paul Klee (Switzerland); Färgfabriken (Stockholm); Wundergrund Festival (Copenhagen); Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea di Trento (Italy); Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo); Frieze Art Fair NY (New York); Tatton Park Biennial (Cheshire); Castlefield Gallery (Manchester); AV festival (Newcastle); Arnolfini (Bristol); Ikon gallery (Birmingham); FACT (Liverpool); Site Gallery (Sheffield); De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea); Turner Contemporary (Margate). During 2009-2010 she was artist-in-residence at the Ear Institute, UCL. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the Samsung Art+ award, and the Jarman award. Solo exhibitions and mini-retrospectives in 2013 include the Rotterdam Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, the Hayward project Space (London), and Paradise Row gallery (London).
Michael Smith studied with the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (1970-1973), and received a BA from Colorado College (1973). He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship award (1985), four National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowships (1978, '82, '88, '91), and most recently The Alpert Award in the Arts (2012). Smith currently lives and works in New York, NY, and Austin, TX. Selected shows and performances include those at MOMA (USA), The Whitney Museum of American Art (USA), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), The New Museum (USA), Leo Castelli Gallery (USA), Sculpture Center (USA), The Brooklyn Museum (USA), MOMA P.S.1 (USA), Palais de Tokyo (France), Miami Art Museum (USA), White Columns (USA), The Walker Art Center (USA), The Wattis Institute (USA), Caroline's Comedy Club (NYC), Dance Theatre Workshop, Cinemax (NYC), MOCA LA (USA) and the Pompidou Centre (France). Smith's work is represented in numerous international collections including MoMA (USA), Metropolitan Museum of Art (USA), Walker Art Center (USA), Pompidou Center (France) and Museum of Television and Broadcasting, NYC (USA).
Morgan Quaintance is a London-based writer, musician and curator. He is a regular contributor to Art Monthly, Art Review, Frieze, Rhizome.org, this is tomorrow and a number of curatorial sites and music blogs. As a musician he’s played with Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Robin Thicke, the Noisettes, Friendly Fires, Does It Offend You Yeah and currently plays in the bands New Young Pony Club and PLUGS. Graduating from the Royal College of Art’s MA in Curating Contemporary Art in 2011 he is the producer of Studio Visit, a weekly hour-long interviewshow broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM, featuring international contemporary artists as guests.