Pio Pico is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of new work by Jennifer Bolande. Titled The Composition of Decomposition, the show will include photographs, sculpture, and the debut of her film of the same name. This body of work looks into how truth is conditioned by the frameworks through which it is received; how meaning shifts and transmogrifies in the passage from one material or context to another, from “news” to history.
An interest in the quotidian has been an enduring aspect of Bolande’s creative vocabulary and this particular body of work took root when, leafing through the print version of the New York Times, a once ordinary but increasingly anachronistic experience, she came across a picture of a group of 14th century plague victims whose remains were excavated from a London cemetery. This image of decomposing bones, rendered in grainy newsprint and gradually yellowing in her archive, launched Bolande on a five-year inquiry into newspapers as shapers of meaning.
Bolande’s film The Composition of Decomposition, comprised of sections excised from the New York Times between 2013 – 2015, then pulled apart and randomly paired, is a deep dive into the manufacture of meaning, changing modes of reading and processing information. With the newspaper as object dematerializing into the past, and new technologies radically transforming how we experience the events of the world, the piece immerses the viewer in arhythmical river of fragments, an ever-changing flow of information crumbs, some emotionally charged, others implacably neutral, some oddly funny, and some curiously cryptic.
“I’m interested in the choreography of viewing; how we encounter and understand things. I want to articulate the travel between and through images revealing the micro-layers of meaning that exist between us and what we see and experience. Much of my work hovers between image and object, drawing attention to what else hovers there in the margins—expectations, memories, cultural- codes, preconceptions, and projections, honing in on the point when a thing loses its sociocultural moorings and acquires an ambiguous history.”
Jennifer Bolande is a Los Angeles-based artist who came of age as part of New York’s Pictures Generation during the 1980s. Rooted in conceptualism, her work employs various media – primarily sculpture, photography and film – to explore the quiet affinities between particular sets of objects and images, and the mercurial meanings they manufacture. A retrospective exhibition of her work was organized in 2010 by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, then traveled to the ICA in Philadelphia, and the Luckman Gallery at California State University in Los Angeles. A monograph on her work was published by JRP|Ringier in conjunction with the show. Her award winning site-specific project “Visible Distance/Second Sight” was featured in the inaugural Desert Exhibition of Art, in 2017. Reviewing a show of her work at Metro Pictures, New York Times’ critic Holland Cotter praised Bolande’s art for it’s “low-key wit, lively inventiveness, and subtle eye for metaphor.”