Artists' Television Access

Levon Fox “Next Best Thing” (closing reception)

Sunday, June 19, 2016, 6:00 pm

June 1, 2016 – June 30, 2016

 ATA Window Gallery presents: Levon Fox, Next Best Thing

A disembodied residency in ATA’s window gallery.
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The classic purpose for a residency is a reflective time that allows for the incubation of new work and thought. Increasingly, residencies have adopted the workshop model, where the time is used in a frenzy of productive activity for the generation of some product or artifact. In this proposal, the installation doubles as a productive machine, a creative site. The goal of the installation is to draw out the relationship between domestic spaces of intimacy and self reflection and the frequently disembodied states of work, or productive activity that have become intermingled with them.

Time spent bathing is often seen as one of the last refuges of contemplation, a momentary reset. Next Best Thing pushes the notion that in our media-suffused lives, the things that we do for ourselves are also things that we do for others. That our own self-maintenance and reflections are as much about the imaginary gaze of others as they are about ourselves. The minimal nature of the bathing space is meant to invoke a timelessness, and the notion that maybe the boundary between the self and others has always been slippery, made of steam. The ‘candid’ yet contrived images of passerby collected and posted online also presses against the boundaries we might ordinarily construct between the staged photo, a photo of an event, and the automatic photographic process of a machine.

Next Best Thing takes place in the conceptual bathroom of your future apartment, where the reflective solace of your shower also reflects your appearance on the street later, the apartment search, the slow dissolving of memories, and the wandering gaze of desire and loneliness. It is a sculptural performance which refers to aspects of new construction that are seductive yet disposable, to the ways in which lifestyle marketing is a re-enactment of itself, and to the impossible fantasies of solitude that drive contemporary urban existence.

Next Best Thing is a set of morphing images, surveillance footage taken from the window, morphing phonemes, hue meditations, non-sequential poems, visual memories, and a physical space not inhabited by you (or me). It is a disembodied residency which I will be operating select evenings throughout the month of June. Come visit, and (maybe) become encapsulated in the dynamic archive/ photo-booth of empty, aging, contemporary space.


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