Rachel Harrison

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Blvd
June 6, 2015–July 18, 2015

Rachel Harrison, Magnum, 2015, wood, polystyrene, chicken wire, cement, acrylic, Eagle Magnum Lead shot, selfie stick, and display phone, 85 1/2 x 56 x 22".

Rainbow-colored amoebas are among the sculptures posing with selfie sticks in Rachel Harrison’s latest exhibition. Banned in over forty art institutions worldwide, the selfie stick perhaps best expresses the pictorial excesses of our time, collapsing the distinction between author and subject. In addition to this object, Harrison also assimilates other types of support structures—easels, pedestals, and even the metal framing that braces the white cube itself, the latter invoking Michael Asher. A plaster busts rests on raw plywood while cinder blocks, covered in Styrofoam and painted in a Dr. Seuss palette, hug aluminum studs. Elsewhere, a framed print of Marilyn Monroe leans against the sheetrock of an old gallery wall. It’s a construction site meets sci-fi wonderland, a futuristic landscape that echoes the way our identities themselves are endlessly constructed and reconstructed through new technologies.

Far from a jeremiad against what’s been called the “wand of narcissism,” Harrison examines how the selfie stick both endows and jails individuals with a new agency to depict ourselves as we wish to be seen. In the exhibit, this power also extends to the inanimate: The selfie stick brings the sculptures to life, each seeming to crane toward the phone in search of its own reflection. As the abstract forms face off against the tiny screens, they seem almost human.

— Anya Ventura