of perfect world Press Release
October 13—November 18, 2000
Opening on Friday, October 13th, the gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new gallery exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist, Jason Rhoades. This gallery exhibition continues the themes the artist began investigating in A Perfect World, which was shown at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg last year and Flatworks from A Perfect World at Galerie Hauser & Wirth, in Zurich this past summer.
For the Hamburg show, Rhoades built a massive system of interlocking metal tubes that created a structure which inhabited the huge expanse of the Deichtorhallen space. The building of this sculpture was documented on a 35mm black-and-white film, the footage of which became part of a flat-screen monitor work that resembles a two-dimensional photograph, but in actuality presents the film in its entirety by using the latest digital technology. For the artist, it is this building of a sculpture that becomes the central theme of the gallery exhibition in which the artist resuses the metal tubes from Hamburg and rebuilds a new structure into the two large spaces of the gallery here in New York. For Rhoades, the constant action of building up and taking down the metal structure is the "real sculpture" and so on every other day, an assistant will be taking down and reconstructing this sculpture within the gallery space.
Another related central theme that is explored in of perfect world is the historical character of John A. Sutter, a Swiss explorer (1803-1880), who is credited with the founding of California. Sutter founded a saw mill, which was then known as Sutter's Fort, and eventually became present-day Sacramento. This "New Helvetia" was intended by Sutter to become an ideal community. However, the workers and inhabitants of Sutter's Mill abandoned him to take part in the Gold Rush of 1848. This led to the demise and eventual desolution of his mill. For Rhoades, Sutter's Mill serves as a metaphor for the sculpture he has been creating since the Deichtorhallen show. A place where as the artist states: "All pieces of mine are kind of models or metaphors of the physical world. You come up on one experience and you don't realize that it also resonates at other levels. The work is about how you come into these experiences or moral questions or physical questions. It is how you perceive them. [There's] also a sculptural question of body relationships. It is a strange kind of system, which I wanted to create by "orchestrating" a construction. I wanted to build a system, like a Lego system. It's more to choreograph these things and have them done right. Not just people doing actions, but also with materials and how they relate to other materials. Also the relationships of the people involved. The whole piece becomes an eco-system in itself. Things are used, things are printed out, you even throw things away. The act of throwing some things away, of taking it to the next level is a certain eco-system. It is a processing of material."