Artist: Erika Vogt
Venue: Overduin & Co., Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Eros Island: Knives Please Rise
Date: September 10 – October 22, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Overduin & Co., Los Angeles
Overduin & Co. is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Erika Vogt. The exhibition features a new group of sculptural works which were initially conceived as props for a performance commissioned by Performa at the Roulette Theater in New York last year. The performance was the third iteration of Vogt’s ongoing project, Artist Theater Program, a series of live collaborative performances featuring fellow artists and their work.
For this exhibition, Vogt has produced a group of large-scale leaning, hanging and freestanding sculptures based on a collection of knife iconography culled from a range of sources and historical periods – Paleolithic, Han Dynasty, Incan, Egyptian Middle Kingdom, Peruvian, 19th century surgical tools, as well as contemporary weaponry. Vogt’s sculptural vocabulary for these works is informed by the material and structural language of theatrical props. The sculptures have served as both rigid costumes shielding the body of the performers, and tools for directing choreography or the flow of sightlines on stage. A tabletop relief based on the knife-like floor plan of the gallery has replaced the gallery’s office table representing the exhibition space itself as a theatrical prop.
The collection of knife sculptures in this exhibition are each given the name of a friend or fellow artist, some of whom have participated in the theater works. This allusion to the performances encourages an idea that the sculptures act as performers within the exhibition space. Vogt engages with a model of idiorrhythmy as described by Barthes for the collaborative performances she has organized as part of the Artist Theater Program. Preserving the autonomy of the individual’s practice within the group, the performances bring a diverse array of artists together and allow for a shift in the experience of the artworks as objects to be worn or carried by the artists on stage.
Vogt’s focus moves back and forth from an emphasis on form to surface. The logistics of the stage-to-audience relationship encourages the use of exaggerated color and sign-like forms that read from a distance, but the layered and quickly applied materials of prop fabrication result in a rich painterly tactility. The bright colors overlaid onto these forms are taken from a collection of images of political protests organized by groups such as Code Pink, or a New Yorker cartoon of a Trump rally appropriated for the show’s announcement card. The knife imagery references populist symbols of revolution and engages the graphic sensibility of agitprop. One set of black strapped panels recall police riot gear, “body-blockers”, and another set of shield-like forms with honeycomb perforations reference ceramic tile armor and “net guns” used as crowd control devices.
To accompany the exhibition, Vogt has produced an artist’s book which takes the form of a script. The document details Vogt’s taxonomy of source imagery for each sculpture and includes a section titled “Set Theory” outlining Vogt’s choreographic principles for the performers on stage. An actual script is also included describing dialogue and scene direction for a performance which shares the exhibition’s title.
Erika Vogt (b. 1973) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and a BFA from New York University. Vogt’s background in both feminist and queer video and her involvement in experimental film in Los Angeles continue to inform her work. Recent solo exhibitions have been organized by the New Museum in New York, Triangle France in Marseilles, and the Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire. Vogt’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Anthology Film Archives in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Vogt’s work is included in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.