Altman Siegel is pleased to present Public Surface Pattern, an exhibition of new photographs by Los Angeles based artist Shannon Ebner.
In this exhibition, Ebner presents a group of images that each have in common a type of given sign, generated by or for the public, both electronically and made by hand. Taken as a whole, these signs and their information, declaring such things as “Expect Delays,” “Use Detour,” “Road Closed Ahead,” and “Eye-contact is Direction of Souls,” function less for their utility and more as a graphic landscape of re-patterned patterns. These patterns begin in the public and are here reconstituted through the act of exhibition. For Ebner, this work is a form of writing, and the writing, in turn, a way of seeing.
The late philosopher Vilém Flusser, in ‘Line and Surface’ talks about the ‘one-dimensional line of reading’ and the ‘two-dimensional surface of images.’ According to Flusser, the reading of the surface of an image becomes a two-part act, with the eye free to roam in any direction, first synthesizing the image and next analyzing it. For Public Surface Pattern, Ebner presents photographs in which the viewer is asked to see and read simultaneously, bringing to mind the weft and warping of a woven pattern in which the horizontality, verticality and directionless drift of seeing coalesce on a surface. This surface is portable, informational, changeable and directional, alternately in and out of service, is electric, is human and bodily, and is communicating in another type of landscape, in a different type of field.
Shannon Ebner (b. 1971, New Jersey) lives and works in Los Angeles. Ebner’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Fondazione Memmo, Rome; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; MoMA PS1, New York; Kaufmann Repetto, Milan; Sadie Coles, London; and Wallspace, New York. Recent group exhibitions include “Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language,” MoMA, New York; the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice; “The Spectacular Vernacular,” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 6th Berlin Biennale, Berlin; and the Whitney Biennial, New York. Upcoming projects and exhibitions include a project for the High Line, New York; a commission as part of the Hillman Photography Initiative at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and a solo exhibition at ICA Miami. Ebner’s artist book, STRIKE, will be published this fall by Mousse Publishing and will be for sale at the gallery.