Art today has escalated to: guns and art are fun, violence, sex, hate, hi-tech, low-tech are the stuff art is made of… strategies are a major force, intellect is considered an impediment and 60 seconds is no longer a minute… More importantly, all is embraced without a moment’s hesitation regarding the fire and power of thought. A fatal misunderstanding that information is knowledge.
– Sturtevant, 1993
Freedman Fitzpatrick is proud to present, STURTEVANT: MEMES the first exhibition dedicated to Sturtevant’s video works in Los Angeles. Featuring works produced from 1999 to 2012, including those rarely seen, this exhibition zeros in on Sturtevant’s interrogation of the “cybernetic” and “virtual reality” during an unparalleled period of technological transformation. As with her repetitions, which foresaw the impact of artists like Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys, and Keith Haring before they were famous, Sturtevant’s earliest videos presage a forthcoming digital phenomenon: the video clip. Focusing on what she termed “sameness” and the de-emphasis of thought in art discourse, Sturtevant integrated pop culture and comedic timing into her work to probe the vital questions of our time. Her early transformations of stock footage and of GIF-like clips curiously mirror a now universal visual language: memes.
In exhibiting her work in a never before seen configuration of screens, STURTEVANT: MEMES attempts to ask questions, rather than supply answers. The exhibition seeks to situate her prescient work within our hyper-accelerationist milieu, and to ask a younger generation to consider the under-explored dimensions of her practice and the pertinence of her work today.