No Not Never None, Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London
Sometimes things are not as they seem, and other times things seem to be as they are not. But very often we simply do not know how things are; we just rely on our senses and our assumptions to guide us through this uncertain world. In No Not Never None, Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori investigate this disconnect between how things are and how they seem. Through a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography and installation, they reveal a world which is full of negation loops, where a thing is both not something and not nothing.
The world, for Jeremy Everett, is filled with mystery. His work explores the infinitely nuanced contours of experience, taking the way we see the world as a starting point without assuming there is one particular way of seeing and rejecting the notion that what is seen is the whole story. He is interested in the object’s relation to space and its environment, the perennial question of what lies behind what we see, and the notion of an unfinished landscape in which the perceiver furnishes the final component. Fabio Lattanzi Antinori takes this notion of the unseen to its tangible extreme by analysing the silent, and yet fully palpable, motions of financial markets. His work focuses on how the languages of corporate systems inform the way we shape our communities and the actions we take towards our survival. At the root of this is the observation that financial data, although abstract and essentially ethereal, controls our resources and ultimately binds us together. Both artists are thus concerned with the precarious balance of hidden structures, unveiling a substructure of volatility and vulnerability which is – for better or worse – the very basis of a fragile human existence.
The title of the exhibition, No Not Never None, captures the sense in which we are always caught in a state of apparent contradiction; the sense in which our lives always and forever seem to be something and nothing at the same time. The gallery becomes a site of profound uncertainty in which norms and conventions are destabilised, while also offering a penetrating insight into the fundamental forces of finance and perception that govern how we live.
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori presents a brand new sculpture which creates an immersive, multi-sensory experience exploring the financial practice of ‘front-running’ – trading on advance information provided by brokers. Whilst the work visually references the microwave towers used for the high-speed transmission of financial data, Lattanzi Antinori has collaborated with perfume designer Sergey Dziniruk to develop a range of fragrances that will be omitted by the sculpture. Lattanzi Antinori also presents ones of his interactive screenprints which, when touched by the viewer, translates financial data into song, giving musical expression to the otherwise stark and inhuman data that constitutes so-called ‘dark pools’ markets.
Jeremy Everett destabilises the architecture of the gallery with an installation of his ‘shims’: these immaculately folded white dress shirts are placed under the gallery’s central column, causing the structure to lean to one side. In this work, Everett explores associations of daily work and the precarious structures that underpin it. He also presents a series of photographs which explore the theme of decay, where a partially obscured image is achieved by burying the print in the earth for a number of days. In a further concern with process-driven work, Everett’s paintings use a fine dusting of colour in a process that uses air and pigment in the same way a photocopier uses light to reveal the canvas stretcher as the geometric content of the painting. Here he explores the notion of that which lies beneath or behind the world we previewed as the hidden structure of experience.
In both Everett and Lattanzi Antinori, there is a simmering sense of dystopia, as they uncover the chaos and peril that lies only just behind the apparent order and control of our world. But as the title No Not Never None suggests, things are not quite as they seem, since just as that negation falls into a loop, the idea of dystopia inverts itself on closer inspection. After all, the existential uncertainty bubbling under the surface of our experience is just the substructure that supports it; as such, what appears to be a fantastical dystopia might just be the true nature of the world according to these two artists.
Jeremy Everett opens November 14th
LA Talks / October 9, 2015
Controlled Disruption / Jeremy Everett
Born in Colorado in 1979, artist Jeremy Everett lived in Paris and recently moved to Los Angeles. Darren Flook talks with him about the greatest American monuments, Land Art and construction sites.
Overturned trucks spilling milk across a highway, smoke blown onto a canvas by the wind, soil-eroded photographs of cheer leaders… There is a love of chance here, and also a feeling for American imagery, decay and impermanence. I wonder where this comes from in your practice? Can you fill me in a little on the connecting threads of your interests? What are the central motivating drives of this character called Jeremy Everett?
The greatest American monument is the highway; to wreck a truck full of milk is a very specific and important gesture that was absolutely necessary to me. While growing up in the US I was surrounded by subjects like the American cheerleader; I buried these photographs as a way of finding visual meaning, vital meaning. The paintings made with colored smoke began with chance but eventually developed into something more factual, revealing the painting structure as surface and as something to see. The painting became a photocopy of itself. All of the work is connected by a visual truth or fact, a reduction towards the absolute.
There seems to be a relationship to action. To overturn a truck — the act of finding it, filling it with milk, getting someone to flip the thing and then getting in a helicopter to film the result. The same with the smoke paintings — you build a box of canvases, let off the smoke bomb… All are actions, or at least active approaches to image making, which is a roundabout way of asking if there is a conversation with Land Art and monumental sculpture?
It’s important these images have the visual charge of an action. I want to perform this work whether it’s monumental or unmonumental and get the visual results through direct production. Michael Heizer’s Double Negative had a big influence on me early on and also a lot of Smithson’s temporary works that only exist now through photographs. Beyond using similar methods of documentation, I don’t feel my work has a connection to Land Art. I am producing works that participate inside of life, not isolated outside of it. I closed the highway so I could wreck the truck. I wanted the sculpture to temporarily stop the system.
I never thought of the closing of the highway as a part of the work. Do you think of the disruption caused by the smoke works in a similar vein?
Initially I was imagining a disruption in the city, like a badly timed firework, leaving a cloud of red pigment in the sky. I did my first smoke piece on a rooftop in the center of Paris. It is a very uniform, horizontal city, so you could see the color hanging just above the buildings for about ten minutes. I asked a photographer to document the duration of the piece from the roof of the Pompidou. After setting it off things turned hectic quickly. The neighbors called the cops and I ended up running through the streets to get away just in time before getting caught.
The next development of these works is using the smoke pigment to expose pieces of architecture, leaving a monochromatic photocopy of the exhibition space. With the smoke works it’s more interesting if the disruption happens inside of a gallery.
I also used these ideas of disruption and intervention in my works in situ. One example was when I found a construction site in south of France with a front end loader completely stranded in a body of water. It is the perfect sculpture. I convinced them to stop working for the rest of the day, so I could photograph it.
I’d like to ask you about location. You now live and work in LA — a city very different from Paris and one currently very much in the art press. Do you think that move has affected your work?
Yes, there is a freedom in LA that has changed my work — the availability of material and an opportunity to work at a larger scale that I didn’t have in New York or Paris. The foundation of the city is Hollywood, and all of the production material, printers, fabricators, etc., can be used for art making. Visually the light is unrelenting and incredible. I am always surrounded by a questionable reality. My studio is located on Broadway downtown, above Elvira’s Wedding Chapel. On one side is the building where Blade Runner was filmed, and on the other side is the shop where OJ Simpson bought the knife that was used in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.
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As I leave the conversation, I’m left with a sense of Everett as a kind of filmmaker — not in the literal sense of shooting films, but as Hitchcock said: “Film is collage.” It’s this sense of image following image, object from action and image again that stays with me. That and the fact/fiction crossover that is Los Angeles.
by Darren Flook