Meghan Gordon

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What Is My Work About? I think about subjectivity, language, collaboration, pedagogy, and performance documentation. Through sculpture, installation, video, performance, and social practices, I reassign value to marginalized artistic labor, such as administration and maintaining personal relationships. By reclaiming any past action or present relationships as performance, I generate texts and artworks that argue for a post-feminist, self-mythologizing, and anti-narrative mode of history-making. I create context-specific works, exemplified by my work with the collective called neverhitsend (a group that performatively researches communications ideology), but I am often responsible for creating my own context, such as in my ongoing bar project called some times.

Artist Statement

It’s performance if we do it with awareness; it’s art if we frame it that way. But what if the thing has already happened? Among other things, my work investigates whether performance documentation is as malleable as the definition of performance and explores how this relates to a post-feminist creation of history. To explore these topics I use my own experiences and complicated subjectivity to build a critical apparatus on pre-existing structures of representation. For example, in my ongoing project called some times, I perform as a bartender. Money is exchanged for drinks, we become intoxicated, and I talk with friends in a friendly way, but we are not in a real bar. We collectively engage in this suspension of disbelief. It allows us to reclaim some sense of autonomy: this situation is a game and we can change the rules as we go along. I am tending bar, but I’m not in control. My labor is constant, on display, and without any reward, but at least I am aware of this. The bar is a platform for performance.

 

My works introduce a subject at work, operating within a situation of precariousness. This is a space of fundamental instability, inscribing itself into the structure of the work and reflecting on a general state of aesthetics. Precariousness is dependence on the will or pleasure of others; through collaboration I reluctantly give up control. In the “Streaming” videos, made in collaboration with my brother Craig, we reconsider our relationship as a performance, thus as work. In “Streaming (all becoming real)” Craig tells me about his day job working for a life insurance company, but also about his free time speedrunning videogames live on the Internet. Both actions, when described, sound similar. They take unquantifiable entities and break them down into numbers and charts. However, the precision of Craig’s gaming, on display in the video, is far more rehearsed and considered than the performance I give as an artist. The viewer of the video witnesses a power balance inherent within collaboration that approaches exploitation. Again, the precarious nature of the role of the artist as an individual constantly producing or re-producing subjectivity is on display.

 

My work manipulates social form, reorganizing and incorporating preexisting structures into original compositions. Perhaps performance documentation has become a multidimensional post-produced and collaged re-presentation of everything that already is. An adventure I might describe over dinner becomes a text that a viewer can narrate herself from a make-shift stage, such as in “Short Story.” Overwrought administrative email language is translated into a drawing traced in metal key shavings that disappear with subtle vibrations, such as in “Mission Statement.” The desire for artists to self-organize a group show in order to sell work is realized through the distribution of free alcohol and the charisma of a bartender, such as in “The Museum Shop above some times.” These works reproduce familiar structures in order to emphasize the importance of responding to context. My work promotes the idea that an individual’s ability to create and reframe her own context is a radical means of writing history and therefore of agency.

 

This statement is a documentation of a performance that happened last year, that nobody saw called, “Performance documentation is a political act.”

CV

EDUCATION:        

 

2014         California Institute of the Arts, MFA, Valencia CA

2007         Rhode Island School of Design, BFA, Providence RI

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

 

2014         “The Company You Keep” California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2013         “Meaning you’re some ‘Hell of a man,’ I suppose” California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2011         “Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh would have liked to explore the Palisades” Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, Bronx NY

2010         “Tribute to an Underappreciated Trap Door” Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco CA

2009         “This Room Used To Be A Studio” Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown MA

2008         “Selections from the 100 Most Beautiful Rooms” Hudson D. Walker Gallery, Provincetown MA

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

 

2014         “The Residents” Hastings College Art Gallery, Hastings NE

                     “Motion Tracking” Cirrus Gallery and HYPERHYPER, Los Angeles CA

                     “Post Private” Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles CA

2013         “neverhitsend” 356 S. Mission Rd., Los Angeles CA

                     “Die Welt Der Dinge” Kunsthaus Merano, Merano IT

“A.K.A.” Davidson Contemporary, New York NY

“Interiors” ACME, Boston MA

2012         “Another Side” The Re Institute, Millerton NY

“On Loan” Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia PA

2011         “Workspace Program” Dieu Donné, New York NY

“Shift” Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou CN

“New Work” Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco CA

2010         “Mutual Migration” Michael Rosenthal Gallery, San Francisco CA

2009         “Midsummer Saltations” Art Store, Charleston WV

“Paperjam” ArtStrand, Provincetown MA

“Visual Arts Fellows” Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown MA

2008         “New York/New England/New Talent” Hampden Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst MA

“RISD Biennial” Old American Can Factory, Brooklyn NY

“On Paper” The Bushnell, Paper/New England, Hartford CT

“Visual Arts Fellows” Provincetown Arts Association and Museum, Provincetown MA

2007         ­­­­“Thesis Exhibition” Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence RI

“Works on Paper” Dodge House Gallery, Providence RI

 

 

AWARDS / RESIDENCIES:

2014         Parkfield Retreat, Parkfield CA

2013         Dean’s Reserve Fund, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2012         Residency Fellowship, Sculpture Space, Utica NY

2011         Artist in Residence, Times Museum, Guangzhou China

Workspace Program Award, Dieu Donné, New York NY

Winter Workspace Residency, Wave Hill, Bronx NY

2010         Workspace Residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York NY

Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York NY

Artist in Residence, Art342, Fort Collins CO

Leon Levy Foundation Grant, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough NH

2009         Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, Peterborough NH

2008         Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown MA

Artist in Residence, Seven Below Arts Initiative / Burlington City Arts, Burlington VT

Scholarship, Victorian Society of America, Newport RI

2007         Fellowship, Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown MA

Artist in Residence, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City NE

Florence Leif Award, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI

 

CURATORIAL PROJECTS:

 

2014         “some times in the office of ltd los angeles”, bar and project space, ltd los angeles, Los Angeles CA

“museum shop above some times”, bar and store, Cirrus Gallery and HYPERHYPER, Los Angeles CA

“some times”, bar and performance space, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2013         “In-n out”, informal lecture/dinner series, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

“locksmith, Inn”, informal residency program in collaboration with Leander Schwazer, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

 

PERFORMANCES / TALKS:

 

2014         “Short Story” California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2013         “Guided Tour of AKA Curated by Adam Eckstrom at Davidson Contemporary, by Edith Winston” Davidson Contemporary, New York NY

“Temporary Office of locksmith, Inn” (collaboration with Leander Schwazer) California Institute of the Arts, Valencia CA

2012         “A guided tour of the 100 Most Beautiful Rooms in America, by Edith Wharton, amateur docent” as part of Important Things, organized by Rachel de Joode, Interstate Projects, Brooklyn NY

“Another Side Continuously” as part of Another Side, curated by Ghost of a Dream, The Re Institute, Millerton NY

Visiting Artist, The Wassaic Project, Wassaic NY

Visiting Artist, New York Studio Residency Program, Brooklyn NY

2011         “Shift Seminar Series” Times Museum, Guangzhou China

“Construction and Deconstruction” Times Museum, Guangzhou China

“A conversation between Gabriel de Guzman and Meghan Gordon” Wave Hill, Bronx NY

“Mural Attributed to Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh” Wave Hill, Bronx NY

2010         Visiting Artist, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook NY

Visiting Artist, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence RI

2008         Artist Talk, Burlington City Arts, Burlington VT

“The Burlington Modern Period Room” Burlington City Arts, Burlington VT

BIBLIOGRAPHY / PUBLICATIONS:

2014         neverhitsend. “neverhitsend, POST PRIVATE, Monte Vista Projects, March 14-16, 2014.” VIA, issue 03. August 2014: pp 15-20.

                     Wagley, Catherine. “5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week, Including a Crying Artist in Italy.” LAWeekly.com July 2, 2014.

                     Berardini, Andrew. “Sunstroked and Rigorous: Some Notes on CalArts.” Afterall. June 5, 2014.

                     Eler, Alicia. “Living in a Post-Private World.” Hyperallergic.com. March 20, 2014.

                     “POST PRIVATE.” neverhitsend. 2014. (artist publication)

                     Parker, Allyson. “neverhitsend: A Conversation with LA Based Arts & Technology Collective.” ArtSlant.com. February 8, 2014.

2013         “Storquest.” neverhitsend, designed by Lauren Graycar. 2013. (artist publication)

2012         Newhall, Edith. “Show a put-on.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. August 19, 2012.

Meyer, Ben. “Things Fall Apart: A Collection On Loan at Tiger Strikes Asteroid.” The Art Blog. August 14, 2012.

Schwartz, Chip. “Tiger Strikes Asteroid meets the Smithsonian in ‘On Loan.’” Knight Arts Foundation. August 14, 2012.

Delaney, Anne. “Women Sculpting.” Observer-Dispatch. June 18, 2012.

2011        Shift: Exhibition on Young American Artists Creating On-Site Artwork in China. Guangzhou, China: Guangdong Times Museum, 2011. (catalog)

Nahas, Dominique. “Realities Through the Work of Meghan Gordon, Shana Moulton, Roxana Perez-Mendez, Adam Parker Smith and Bryan Zanisnik.” 2011.

Morgan, Robert C. “Experience, Consumerism, and Identity: Five American Artists in Guangzhou.” 2011.

Lin, Aimee. “Shift: In China, Made in America.” LEAP August 2011: 83-85.

Huang, Qiuyu. “Shift.” Platinum Magazine. 34-41.

Yiting, Nie. “Critic’s Pick.” Artforum.com August 19, 2011.

Ambrozy, Lee. “Empathy.” Artforum.com July 18, 2011.

River, Juan. “Shift – in China, U.S.A.” Artspy.cn July 16, 2011.

2010       “C&C#2 (Black and White).” Color&Color. 2010. (artist publication)