Lightboxes

Rodney Graham
July 8 – November 26, 2017

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Canadian Humourist, 2012

Painted aluminium light box with transmounted chromogenic transparency

232,7 x 182 x 18 cm

 

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Old Punk on Pay Phone, 2012

Painted aluminium light box with transmounted chromogenic transparency

235,3 x 151,4 x 19 cm

 

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

Exhibition view: 

Rodney Graham. Lightboxes, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden, 2017

 

As part of the exhibition, a room of the Museum Frieder Burda has been turned into a photo studio. Visitors can dress up and pose, just like Rodney Graham.

 

Photo © Andrea Rossetti

 

 

Lightboxes

Rodney Graham
Museum Frieder Burda, Baden Baden
July 8 – November 26, 2017
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The Museum Frieder Burda is pleased to present, in close co-operation with the artist himself, an exhibition of his photo light boxes from 2000 to the present. The central focus is on the manifold ways in which Rodney Graham has staged himself. He always gives the impression of a melancholy time traveler, a modern-day Buster Keaton, negotiating the trials and tribulations of modern culture in various guises and in doing so, slipping into the role of producer, observer or mediator.

 

The exhibition begins on the ground floor of the museum with the monumental triptych Antiquarian Sleeping in his Shop from 2017. In it, Graham portrays an antiquarian who has nodded off while reading in his shop, which is decorated with antiques and curios. Graham collected the props for the project himself in the antique and bric-a-brac stores of Vancouver. His work can be viewed as a multi-layered allegory for a retreat to eclectic styles and nostalgic inner worlds. His Media Studies ’77 (2016), which is being displayed on the mezzanine, seems like a parody of media research and academia in the post-factual world we live in today. In this case, Graham adopts the role of a dandy-like professor. If the medium is the message, as postulated by the Canadian media scholar Marshall McLuhan in 1964, it, along with its entire discourses, has been reduced to a simple surface. The screen is dark, the blackboards are blank; the only message in the entire room is the self-staging of the teacher. At the same time, Graham transforms this scene into a surface composition with abstract and monochrome elements, an allusion to the art of post-war modernity, abstract expressionism or the video art of the 1970s.

 

Upstairs in the museum are key works from the last decade—light boxes, many of which feature Graham’s best-known incarnations. They include, for example, the roles of the amateur painter, the craftsman, the Rambling Man and the cowboy. All of Graham’s light boxes, including his still-life-like arrangements, teem with references. He constantly undermines the lines between high and mass culture and connects banal, everyday contexts with elaborate allusions to art history and intellectual history. Graham’s caricaturistic images simultaneously question the role of the artist and, like the Newspaper Man, the complex mechanisms of the distribution and reproduction of cultural goods.

 

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