Walead Beshty's SELECTED BODIES OF WORK Opens 2/26 at Regen Projects
Regen Projects will present Selected Bodies of Work, an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Walead Beshty. The show features a group of interrelated photographs, sculptures, ceramics, and collages that address bodies and labor as they are rendered visible in or on the art object. This is the artist's second solo presentation at the gallery.
On display are photograms made in the darkroom through a fixed set of predetermined constraints. Beshty's RA4 Contact Prints are produced on the now aging, and quickly deteriorating color processor on which he created his previous non-figurative color photographic works. Serrated color bands stripe their surfaces, an imprint of the processor's interior that results from its frequent jamming and misalignment, acting as indexes of the machine's near failure. In another series of photographic works, the Cross-Contaminated RA4 Contact Prints, traces of hands and their contact with the surface of the photograph during exposure are visible, emphasizing the often invisible forces of labor inherent in the production of the photograms. Furthering some of the more visceral aspects of mechanical breakdown are the deconstructed computers, printers, projectors, and scanners which struggle to perform their intended functions while skewered on aluminum rods.
The exhibition features polished sculptures in six different configurations produced from 10 x 5 foot standard industrial sheets of copper folded in half. During their installation and de-installation, marks from the hands of installers accrue on their surfaces according to the sculpture's shape, scale, and mass. In another expression of how art works are handled, a series of photographs depict the hands of studio assistants, curators, and gallerists interacting with works of art at various stages of their production. The Aluminum Remnant works, each a series of irregular geometric forms, are the polished remains of the copper sculptures' inner armatures.
Also on view are ceramics produced by the artist while working at Cerámico Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico. These sculptures are made from the discarded byproducts of Cerámico Suro's varied past productions, which include both high-end ceramic ware and artist's editions. While producing these works, Beshty collected three daily tabloids (Express Guadalajara, La Prensa Jalisco, and Metro) that feature sensationalist stories about violent crime, car crashes, and sports, peppered with pinups and ads for escort services. Their contents depict the traffic, exchange, and monetization of human bodies.