Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), Installation view, Regen Projects II, Los Angeles. All images courtesy of Regen Projects.
Currently on view at Regen Projects, Los Angeles, is the group show Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), curated by artist Walead Beshty. ‘Picture Industry’ refers both to the physical setting and the conceptual pretext within which the show is presented, with Los Angeles as the focus in terms of both place and content. Included in the exhibition are works by Tauba Auerbach, Thomas Barrow, Carol Bove, Troy Brauntuch, Tony Conrad, Abraham Cruzvillegas, De Rijke / De Rooij, Liz Deschenes, Isa Genzken, Wade Guyton, Robert Heinecken, Karen Kilimnik, Imi Knoebel, Michael Krebber, Glenn Ligon, Erlea Maneros Zabala, Albert Oehlen, Manfred Pernice, Seth Price, Richard Prince, Josephine Pryde, R.H. Quaytman, Eileen Quinlan, Miljohn Ruperto, Michael Snow, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Charline Von Heyl, Kelley Walker, James Welling, Christopher Williams & Christopher Wool.
Beshty references the idea of ‘late style,’ a phenomenon whereby the hollowness of the contemporary landscape raises questions about the viewer’s expectations for an honest experience of art, architecture, and to a certain extent, life. The terms ‘Picture’ and ‘Industry’ play important roles in determining the contextual premise of the exhibit, as interpretations for both ideas are quite varied, especially in Los Angeles. Beshty explains “Pictures have a knack for supplanting the concrete, sliding as though self-lubricating around the globe, like poltergeists; they haunt the world they represent like vague recollections, inhabiting concrete forms briefly until slipping off to another host… And what to make of the application of the term industry, with the heaviness of factories and smoke stacks encircling it, to the production of ephemeral pictures whose power is synonymous with their lightness? It could be said that it is the seemingly invisible and ephemeral aspects—the means of distribution, the contextual frame, the vicissitudes of taste, and an object’s ability to “pass”—which serve as the most robust material of the contemporary work, an embrace of convention that produces an endless sequence of provisional “meanings.” Perhaps the only solution available to us is to allow pictures to be concrete, to reclaim their moments of heaviness, instead of pretending that they are endlessly able to float listlessly in the breeze.”