April 29 - July 1, 2016
This exhibition of new works by Glagow-based artist, filmmaker, and musician Luke Fowler included the North American premiere of his latest film, For Christian (2016), a cinematic portrait of New York School composer Christian Wolff. Challenging the limits and conventions of documentary form, the 16mm film continued the artist’s ongoing investigations into vanguard thinkers and cultural producers, such as the radical psychiatrist R.D. Laing, Marxist historian E.P. Thompson, or avant-garde composer Cornelius Cardew, figures who are themselves often outsiders to dominant social and historical discourses. Within the exhibition, For Christian was accompanied by Fowler’s rarely seen Tenement Films (2009). Shot and edited on a single 16mm Bolex camera using only available light, the Tenement Films present a series of short, intimate portraits of four otherwise diverse individuals brought together by their shared residence in a Glasgow tenement.
Also on view were two recent suites of color photographs, one shot in the home of Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri (1943-1992), the other in the studio for electronic music at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), or West German Radio, in Cologne. The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the WDR studio played a key role in the development of electronic music in the postwar period, especially under the artistic direction of composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. While their mode of display initially suggests the systematic logic of the archive, their idiosyncratic typologies resist any drive toward completeness or resolution. And, like his films, Fowler’s casual, even prosaic images document the overlooked subjects, interstitial spaces, and accidental poetry of everyday reality.
Curated by Jacob Proctor