Warren Neidich: The Palinopsic Field | LACE, Los Angeles, USA

Warren Neidich: The Palinopsic Field

Exhibition dates: June 15 – August 14, 2016
Opening Reception: Wednesday June 15th 7-10 PM

LACE presents Warren Neidich: The Palinopsic Field, an exhibition that revisits the Second Red Scare and the Lavender Scare, events following World War II in which Joseph McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee directed a witch hunt against many artists and writers suspected of having affiliations with the Communist Party, and many homosexuals who were deemed "sexually perverse." Using painting, neon sculpture and installation, the project resurfaces this history and gives us a fresh outlook through which to view and understand this moment.

The Afterimage Paintings consists of red neon sculptures that spell out the names of blacklisted writers Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner Jr. and Alvah Bessie that incite an afterimage in the eyes of observers. Each sculpture is paired with an unfinished painting of empty stars that mimic those found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The neon instigates a palinopsia, or afterimage in the beholder, who can shift their gaze and allow the imaginary image to fall in the empty space of the painted star. Nine out of ten of the original Hollywood Ten do not have stars on Hollywood Boulevard, and through this experience viewers can actively right this historical wrong.

The second work, The Archive of False Accusations, includes an installation of vitrines that highlight The Lavender Scare. Newspaper and magazine clippings, sourced at a variety of LGBT archives in and around Los Angeles, such as the Southern California Library and One National Gay and Lesbian Archives, are displayed and lit by neon lavender light. Outlandish headlines like Perverts in Government, 1950 Inquiry By Senate on Perverts Asked, 1950 and Vice Squads Sex Files Sealed Pending " Hill" Investigation, 1950 expose the role of McCarthyism as it intervened to cleanse the government of homosexual employees.

Together, these two works highlight the injustices perpetrated against those that were considered different. Today, as we find ourselves amidst an election cycle one cannot help but draw connections between these events and the trending right wing attacks on immigrants, people of color, and the LGBT community today.

Warren Neidich is a Los Angeles based artist whose work has been exhibited internationally in such places as the Whitney Museum of American Art, PS 1 MOMA, The Kunsthaus Zurich, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, The Ludwig Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the California Museum of Photography, Riverside. He studied photography, video, cognitive neuroscience, medicine and architecture. International awards include the AHRB/ACE Arts and Research Fellowship, UK, 2004; Madrid Abierto Outdoor Sculpture Award, 2004; The Vilem Flusser Theory Award, Transmediale, Berlin, 2010; The Fulbright Scholarship, 2011 and 2013. He is founding director of the Saas Fee Summer Institute of Art. Selected exhibitions in 2016 include The Right to Be Unhappy, Bar Projects and the Tapies Foundation, Barcelona. Forthcoming exhibitions are Centre de la Photographie, Geneva; Manifesta, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich; Barbara Seiler Gallery, Zurich; Colombia Miami Practicas Contemporaneas; "Aun" 44th Salon Nacional de Artistas, Pereira, and Kunstverein Rosa-Luxemburg Platz, Berlin. His books The Psychopathologies of Cognitive Capitalism Part 3, Archive Press and Resistance is Fertile, Merve Verlag are also forthcoming in 2016.

Image: Warren Neidich, Dalton Trumbo, 2014, From the series of Afterimage Paintings, Warren Neidich ©


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