Guarded Future II at Downs & Ross

Artists: Alan Belcher, Stephen Frailey, Tishan Hsu, UV Production House, Artie Vierkant

Exhibition title: Guarded Future II

Venue: Downs & Ross, New York, US

Date: March 18 – April 22, 2018

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Downs & Ross, New York

During the North American Drought of 1988, Flash Art publishes its obituary for Nature Morte. That same year—buying back shares, creating an employee stock ownership plan, and issuing preferred stock— the Polaroid Corporation begins its slide into fatal debt while battling a buyout proposal by Shamrock Holdings, an investor group led by Roy E. Disney.

In 1993, Jack Bankowsky tells Ingrid Sischy, then editor of Artforum, “the so-called ‘photo object’ as I was referring to it was an odd little moment very local to New York at that time—a hybrid twist that played with the photograph’s double status as a singular print and as a multiple by turning the photo into an object in an almost slapstick manner—treating it as a component in an overproduced display or violating it by hammering nails into it, stretching it, etc.”

In 1995, Haemophilus influenzae becomes the first free living organism sequenced genomically. In July of that year, Amazon.com—incorporated a year earlier in Washington by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore—sells its first book: Douglas Hofstadter’s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.

In 2007, US patent 8118919 B1 is filed by George W. Love. It is embraced by the following classifications: particle separators, e.g. dust precipitators, using filter plates, sheets, or pads having plane surfaces, i.e. axial filtering.

In 2014, Benjamin H. Bratton speculates on planetary- scale computing in the pages of e-flux: “This model is of a Stack that both does and does not exist as such: it is a machine that serves as a schema, as much as it is a schema of machines. […] perhaps the image of a totality that this conception provides would—as theories of totality have before—make the composition of new governmentalities and new sovereignties both more legible and more effective.”

In 2018, Downs & Ross opens its annual program with Guarded Future, deriving its title from a 1982 photograph by Ellen Brooks. Feminist in purpose and centering on analog documentation, the exhibition locates, in women’s interventions into natural landscapes and disenfranchised domesticity, a tenacious objection to threadbare delimitations of female experience and its communal reproduction.

It is estimated that, by 2118, 130 million persons will be living in low coastal areas less than one meter above sea level and another 410 million in areas measuring fewer than five meters above sea level.

Exhibition view: Guarded Future II, 2018, Downs & Ross, New York

Artie Vierkant, Air filter and method of constructing same 48 (Exploit), 2015, US Patent 8118919 B1, print on charcoal fiberglass mesh, print on fabric, custom frame 83 × 45 inches / 210.82 × 114.3 cm

Artie Vierkant, Air filter and method of constructing same 35 (Exploit), 2014, US Patent 8118919 B1, aluminum, print on charcoal fiberglass mesh, print on organza, wood 50 × 80 × 25 inches / 127 × 203.2 × 63.5 cm

Exhibition view: Guarded Future II, 2018, Downs & Ross, New York

Stephen Frailey, Untitled, 2013, Archival inkjet print, 40 × 40 inches / 101.6 × 101.6 cm

Stephen Frailey, Untitled, 2013, Archival inkjet print, 40 × 40 inches / 101.6 × 101.6 cm

Exhibition view: Guarded Future II, 2018, Downs & Ross, New York

Stephen Frailey, Untitled, 1988, Polaroid prints (diptych), 20 × 40 inches / 50.8 × 101.6 cm

Exhibition view: Guarded Future II, 2018, Downs & Ross, New York

Alan Belcher, Morte, 1988, Color photographs laminated to Masonite, stainless steel hardware, leather hardware, identification tags (set of 4), 23 × 37.5 × 8.5 inches; 19 × 30.5 × 6.5 inches; 16 × 20 × 4.5 inches; 14 × 17 × 7.5 inches / 58.4 × 95.2 × 21.6 cm; 48.3 × 77.5 × 16.5 cm; 40.6 × 50.8 × 11.4 cm; 35.5 × 43.2 × 19 cm

Tishan Hsu, For Pete’s Sake, 1995, Ink, acrylic on linen, 94 × 71 inches / 238.8 × 180.3 cm

Tishan Hsu, For Pete’s Sake, 1995 (detail), Ink, acrylic on linen, 94 × 71 inches / 238.8 × 180.3 cm

UV Production House, Family Growth Chart: Map your child’s yearly height in comparison to the projected rise of sea levels over the next 100 years, 2016-18, Enamel on MDF, chalk, 62 × 6 1/2 inches / 157.5 × 16.5 cm

Exhibition view: Guarded Future II, 2018, Downs & Ross, New York

Alan Belcher, Morte, 1988 (alternate view), Color photographs laminated to Masonite, stainless steel hardware, leather hardware, identification tags (set of 4), 23 × 37.5 × 8.5 inches; 19 × 30.5 × 6.5 inches; 16 × 20 × 4.5 inches; 14 × 17 × 7.5 inches / 58.4 × 95.2 × 21.6 cm; 48.3 × 77.5 × 16.5 cm; 40.6 × 50.8 × 11.4 cm; 35.5 × 43.2 × 19 cm

Artie Vierkant, Air filter and method of constructing same 43 (Exploit), 2015, US Patent 8118919 B1, print on charcoal fiberglass mesh, print on fabric, custom frame 83 × 45 inches / 210.82 × 114.3 cm

UV Production House, Rising sea level diagram in 10 year increments, 2016-18, Charcoal, Dimensions variable

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