Litanies, Marches, Stutters, Stammers, Turnstiles & Revolving Doors

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Picture 842

Lucas Ajemian, UT (Turnstiles & Revolving Doors), 2004
Mixed media on paper
Framed, 40x52 cm

Lucas Ajemian

Litanies, Marches, Stutters, Stammers, Turnstiles & Revolving Doors

September 9th – October 18th 2008

 

Lucas Ajemian presents an extensive survey of his drawings of turnstiles and revolving doors, sketched in various fashion and advertising pictures from magazines. Over the past years, he has made hundreds of these drawings as a comment on a materialistic world in which movement and change are buzzwords, while the word ”standstill” denotes a horror scenario. The inserted revolving doors also merely seem like absurd, pointless additions. As a sort of self-appointed regulatory authority, Ajemian sets down boundaries and marks off zones that prevent a seductive model, for example, from moving freely within the idealized universe of the advertising image.

On show is also a 16mm film of the drawings, bearing the same title as the show. Two formal strategies of Ajemian's film work are evoked in it. It is firstly an indexical work which accumulates most of the Turnstile drawings he has made since 2003. 16mm is often deployed as a catalogue or database for projects and incidental activities that accumulate over time, joining them at the singular site of the film strip. Many of Ajemian’s films are ongoing constructions, a Salon des Refusés of drawings, notes and studio trash to be destroyed, collected and edited to suggest a model of traumatic memory. Secondly, the experimental use of the film object creates material disjunctures, playing with analogue/digital processes of image making. The lateral procession of the images in Litanies, Marches, Stutters and Stammers, creates a visual tension with the material itself, as this is an uncommon movement that runs perpendicular to the vertically stacked frames of the film.

The delicate crossings, borderlines and combinations of individual and collective authorship are the material of Lucas Ajemian’s work. His performances, film installations, drawings and sculptures are based on the integration, revision and de-articulation of found sources. Ajemian works with dysfunctions, conflicts, false starts and voids as an ironic and humorous critique of political and social behavior.

As in this show, Ajemian often works with several media within one piece in order to engage with the gaps, differences, and points of contact between them. He takes an object and duplicates it in another form. These exchanges, rather than taking place along familiar axes, as in works that work between film and photography for example, navigate instead between seemingly unrelated media, and in doing so, open up unexpected possibilities and perspectives onto them both for the artist and the viewer. To the extent that these works are critical and self-reflexive, they reflect onto questions of a far more tenuous, elusive, and unfamiliar nature, questions that lie outside of familiar intermedia or cross-disciplinary tropes.

Concurrently with this show, Lucas Ajemian & Giancarlo Vulcano participate in the U-Turn Quadrennial of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen with a performance at 9.30 pm on September 5th. The performance is a concert, a canon between several rock bands, performing a composition that parses the various mission statements of the first Quadrennial in Copenhagen. An action that draws heavily from the writings of William Burroughs in his work "Electronic Revolution". In it, Burroughs describes how the playing and mixing of various recorded sounds can distort reality, create confusion and false news and perhaps even establish a completely new reality.

Lucas Ajemian’s recent shows include Eclipse (Moderna Museet’s 50th anniversary show in Stockholm. Lucas also performed at the opening), Signal (Orange County Museum), a performance at Gavin Brown’s Passerby, NY, & solo shows at Daniel Hug, LA, and Parisa Kind, Frankfurt. Last year, Ajemian had a solo show at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. MOMA has a group of the Turnstile drawings in their collection.

 
 
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Contemporary Art

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