Blue Apple 1, 2017
Oil and acrylic on polyester
67h x 48w in
Skeleton In The Woods (Huffing), 2017
Oil and acrylic on polyester
60 x 71 x 1 1/4 in
Every Day is Halloween (heart), 2016
China marker, silver lamé and acrylic on canvas
21 × 17in
Steel, film strips, fluorescent light fixture
60h x 84w x 4d in
Infertility Exam, 2018
Video, water, plastic, silicone, painted monitor and home printer
Ghost Town Preservation, 2018
Aquarium parts, wax, natural paper, fish hook, iPhone and charger, silicone, binder clips, water and painted refrigerator
Single-cell preservation, 2018
iPhone and accessory, wax, natural paper, plastic, silicone, binder clips, shoes, water, painted fridge
Tropical Aquarium, Deciduous Biome, 2018
Wax, natural paper, candle wicks, bleach, water, phone parts, plastic, painted rubber trash can, silicone
MX gallery is pleased to present Expired Attachment, an exhibition examining the corrupted record and the expiration of media, heirlooms, and hand-me-downs. It suggests that the desire to communicate and live on through the objects we leave, either as spirit or as data, is not as vain as simply beyond our control. Just as cells mutate and images fade, our computers break like our bodies, and inevitably, someone (or something) is left to decide what to do with the remains.
The paintings of Paul Heyer swim with bacteria, colorful flora, skeletons in the throws of passion, and voids that traverse worlds of the visible and the unknown. They celebrate microscopic cultures that have only appeared to us with recent advances in science and technology, but stand as memento-moris to those who think a rational understanding of life is one immune to time. Both nature’s and society’s indifferences make themselves known again in Gretchen Bender’s work, where images of political entertainment and fleeting moments of TV ecstasy pale under a slab of hulking metal left to age. While materials like cellulose, ink, and steel bare marks of time, light escapes us, taking with it our ability to apprehend decades old images from a pop culture bent on obsolescence. Bender’s futile efforts to isolate intimate moments from an oversaturated and alienated media world is mirrored again in Willard Klein’s hermetically sealed microcosms. Inside each, hand-me-down phones display a live feed of augmented reality, programmatically generating new moments as long as they can. They remind us of our cultural imperative to continually create images of newness and progress, but also of attempts to preserve ourselves by constantly recording personal narratives and disseminating them. Still, for all we might make and pass on to our young, the only certainty is misuse, reinterpretation, mutation and evolution.
Each work evokes the will of one grappling with the expanse of history-- it’s slow roll and unrelenting indifference. Each artist offers another obstacle to the ego that seeks affirmation in its legacy; whether posed as the finitude of a life’s work, the seduction and broken promises of the entertainment industry, or the melancholy of technological determinism. If the spoils of one’s project can not be seen in their life, what is left to be done? Is everything left behind to be sent slaughter-bench of history?
Paul Heyer (b.1982) received his MFA from Columbia University in 2009. Paul is represented in Los Angeles by Night Gallery, and in New York by Chapter NY. His work has been exhibited at Andrea Rosen, New York; Shane Campbell, Chicago; Rodeo, Istanbul; and MCA in Chicago. His work has been written about in Artforum, The New York Times and FlashArt. Heyer lives and works in Chicago.
Gretchen Bender (b. 1951-2004) received her BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Pompidou Center in Paris and the Menil Collection in Houston. Gretchen Bender exhibited widely around New York City in the 1980s, and her work has been seen more recently at The Kitchen, New York, and Tate Liverpool, United Kingdom.
Willard Klein (b. 1992) received his BFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago in 2014. His work has been exhibited in New York and Chicago at the long run artist space Julius Caesar. Klein lives and works in New York.