The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago‘s current exhibition, Production Site: The Artist’s studio Inside-Out takes a look at the studio not only as a location for production but also as a place where experimentation, performance, failure, and meditation can occur. Organized by Domonic Molon, this exhibition is in connection with the yearlong city wide Studio Chicago project which brings forth the studio as a site and subject. The show consists of a diverse group of artists that work both locally and internationally including; Andrea Zittel, Amanda Ross-Ho, Bruce Nauman, Deb Sokolow, Justin Cooper, Kerry James Marshall, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Nikhil Chopra, Rodney Graham, Ryan Gander, Tactia Dean and William Kentridge.
An overarching playfulness is found throughout many of the works in the gallery; most noticeably in the works of William Kentridge, Justin Cooper, and Amanda Ross-Ho. Kentridge’s video installation 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès (2003) shows the artist working in his studio in seven different projections. Referencing the French filmmaker Kentridge plays with early special effects and stop motion as he paints, destroys, and interacts with his own creations.
Amanda Ross-Ho’s installation, Frauds for an Inside Job (2008) is in fact her former studio. Cut apart and reassembled as leaning “paintings”, a presentation that she often uses, Ross-Ho presents the objects that are often found on her studio walls. A poster of Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G., paint splatters, buttons, a basket, and a Beijing Opera Mask are all disclosed as references and inspiration.
Justin Cooper’s Studio Visit (2007),shot while the artist was in residency at Skoheagen, is shown through the perspective of the artist in a state of frenzy. As Cooper attempts to create a still life and fails, miserably might I add, we are shown a vulnerable side of the artist as they create. The studio becomes a site of private failure.
Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-Out will on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago until May 30th.