Berlin – Mark Flood a.k.a. Mike Lood: “Ask Officer Pepperspray” at Peres Projects, through November 9th 2013

October 15th, 2013

Mark Flood, SADISTIC pleasure! (2013), via Peres Projects

Currently on view at Peres Projects in Berlin is an exhibition of new work by American artist Mark Flood, using his new pseudonym “Mike Lood” for the first time. Entitled Ask Officer Pepperspray, the exhibition is Flood’s fifth solo show at Peres Projects.

Mark Flood, Ask Officer Pepperspray (Installation View), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Born in 1957 in Houston, Texas, Mark Flood began his artistic career in the 1980s as part of the burgenoning national punk rock scene, a time he calls “the hateful years,” as a reference to Ronald Regan’s “culturally stifling reign.” Flood is a founding member of Culturecide, a major punk band prominent in the late 1970s. As is to be expected, Flood’s work is heavily influenced by music and criticism of the mass media, and his work often makes explicit use of almost lyrical texts. As a result, a major theme in Flood’s images are advertisements with blacked out or obscured messages, misspelled words, and sinister phrases intended to parody conventional commercial images.  In other works, Flood experiments with transfer loss and image degradation, a phenomenon of digital archiving and display.

Mark Flood, Death Star (2013), via Peres Projects

Some of his invented slogans include “Commit Suicide,” “Win Every Day,” and “Disable Your Conscience,” nodding to a sense of cultural and physical withdrawal that mass media advertising so often embodies.  Additionally on display in the exhibition are some of Flood’s lace paintings, in which he used heirloom lace as stencils to create paintings. He created these works starting in the 1990s, when, exhausted from the lack of support and camaraderie in his creative community, he turned to abstraction and color without a defined political message. Vastly different from his other works, the lace paintings are intricate patterns torn in the middle, revealing an empty space behind behind or an endless horizon ahead.  While much more materially focused around a physical object as opposed to abstracted, Flood’s works here cannot help but espouse the same frayed, torn punk aesthetic, charting the damage and impact the act of painting has on already worn material.

Mark Flood, Monument (2013), via Peres Projects

Flood has exhibited works extensively throughout Texas, as well as in New York, Mexico City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Munich, Mallorca, London, Athens, Berlin, and Paris. Flood’s works are included in the collections of several institutions in Texas, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.

Mark Flood, Disable Your Conscience (2013), via Peres Projects

Combining Flood’s classic works with newer approaches to sculpture, found objects and advertising, Ask Officer Pepperspray will continue at Peres Projects’ new location in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin through November 9, 2013.

Mark Flood, Ask Officer Pepperspray (Installation View), via Sophie Kitching for Art Observed

Mark Flood, COUNT THE BRUISES (2013), via Peres Projects

Mark Flood, Romantic Pool (2013), via Peres Projects

Mark Flood, REMIND ME I’M DEAD (2013), via Peres Projects

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Peres Projects]