RACHEL HARRISON

Vortrag
Rachel Harrison: Eroberung des Nutzlosen
Mittwoch, 25. November, 19 Uhr, Aula
Die Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt.


The American artist Rachel Harrison’s sculptures are at once autonomous and always part of a larger installational ensemble. Such an ensemble is often based on a specific idea or tendency the various objects pursue in different ways. Her work combines industrially produced and handmade elements, abstract shapes and real objects in precarious sculptural units that present lateral views finished in a variety of ways.
They tell of characters and events in recent art and cultural history as well as the popular world of the media. The works suggest combinatorial clues, engender effects; now and then the structures even dissolve into references within a private language, or at least become difficult to understand.

Rachel Harrison’s strategies are unsettling and provoking, seducing and destabilizing our thinking in patterns of representation, whose internal dynamism she uses in masterful fashion only to induce, without further ado, their collapse in such dialectical reversals. The American author John Kelsey, for instance, writes: “And if Harrison’s sculpture is so caught up in this chaos of signs and surface effects it’s precisely because it’s so serious about space: in a time when space and image lose their distinction, and the old, ideal distance between viewer and object is always already filled up and occupied by a thousand communications, sculpture, too, finds ways of making itself multi-surfaced and schizo-temporal. In order to re-occupy our contemporary no-space, it trades in its timeless pose for a temporary one, or for a manic series of appearances.” With these appearances, there will be no real final decoding of a concealed truth or an idea. True, there is between disguise and sculpture a world where people like Jack Smith, Leigh Bowery, Liz Taylor, Al Gore, E.T., the Venus de Milo, Leonardo DiCaprio, or Marilyn Monroe come to life. Yet plenty of tchotchkes, magazine illustrations, canned beans, Slim-Fast in cans, honey bears and such things are also waiting to be seen and to be put in combination.

Rachel Harrison is showing new works at PORTIKUS, Frankfurt am Main from November 28 to January 17, 2010. Her first large-scale survey exhibition at the CCS Bard / Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY is still on view until December 20 before moving, in April 2010, in a revised version, to the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Rachel Harrison was born in New York in 1966. She lives and works in New York.