February 28 to April 26
Republic Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming group exhibition, Utopias Constructed. The exhibition of work by visiting artists Abbas Akhavan and Kota Ezawa, and gallery artists Antonia Hirsch and Yedda Morrison opens to the public on Thursday, February 27th, and runs through Saturday, April 12th, 2014. Utopias Constructed examines the conditions under which “utopia” might be found. Central to this exhibition are considerations of the city as a physical assemblage of private and public structures, and as an ideology: a concentrated and dynamic interaction of social, cultural, and economic forces.
The works presented in the exhibition deal with this interaction in disparate ways. Akhavan disrupts the idea of the utopic by juxtaposing images of Iraqi voters displaying their ink- stained fingertips with his work’s title, And After and After, suggesting the anxiety of an unknowable future in Iraq following the American invasion. Hirsch questions whether our use of consumer technologies signals a revocation of the real in favour of the image. Morrison and Ezawa, meanwhile, locate the ideal in a natural space devoid of human interference.
Abbas Akhavan’s practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in Akhavan’s work. More recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces just outside the home – the balcony, the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes. Akhavan is the recipient of Kunstpreis Berlin (2012) and Abraaj Group Art Prize (2014). He is represented by the Third Line and Galeri Mana.
Kota Ezawa lives and works in San Francisco. Using images from popular culture and art history as a departure point, he creates work laden with familiarity and cultural significance. Ezawa received his M.F.A from Stanford University in 2003. He is represented by Haines Gallery, San Francisco.
Antonia Hirsch lives and works between Berlin and Vancouver. Her practice engages with the geographical, quantitative and syntactic systems that underwrite our most basic understandings of the world. She questions the often invisible hierarchies of these epistemological structures by relating them to more familiar territory: embodied experience.
Yedda Morrison is a visual artist and writer. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her books include Darkness (Make Now Press, 2012), Girl Scout Nation (Displaced Press, 2008) and Crop (Kelsey StreetPress, 2003). She has performed and exhibited her work widely.
Kota Ezawa, City of Nature, 2011. DVD, 4 minutes. Edition of 10. Courtesy of Kota Ezawa and Haines Gallery.
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