Critics’ Picks

Fiona Connor, Community Notice Board (Green), 2015, mixed media, dimensions TK.

Fiona Connor, Community Notice Board (Green), 2015, mixed media, dimensions TK.

Los Angeles

Fiona Connor

1301PE
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
January 24–March 7, 2015

Perhaps it is Parker Ito’s elastic installation in a warehouse behind Chateau Shatto that best reflects our current moment of fingered screens, zooming surfaces, and gleaming connectivity. Or maybe it is Liz Craft’s web of yarn, skeletons, speech bubbles, and ceramic dicks at Jenny’s that offers a timely response to our present social and aesthetic desires by way of desublimated Pop scenery. Another approach: Fiona Connor’s exhibition, “Community Notice Boards,” addresses the influence of Internet technologies on new modes of communication by calling on the social networks of sites experienced IRL only. By re-creating a cross section of bulletin boards sourced from Laundromats, libraries, cafes, and other public spaces throughout the city, Connor negotiates the “found object” as something closer to reproducible image rather than salvaged assemblage or purchased readymade. While these notice boards have been reconstructed in structural and material likeness of the “originals,” their faded flyers and scrappy ephemera have been meticulously replicated on aluminum sheets rather than on paper: “Do you have a drug problem?”; “Clases de inglés gratis”; “I buy houses.”

Connor’s material sleight of hand is a critical act of preservation, one that attempts to underscore how proximity and place now contend with more immediate and immaterial means of communication. Documenting its own obsolescence, Community Notice Board (La Brea), 2015, displays little more than vandalized cork, lone pushpins, and traces of paper. If these boards evoke a sense of loss, the effect is not quite nostalgic—their cheerless condition hardly induces sentimental longing for the past. What does it mean to preserve media and materiality in the privileged space of art? Connor’s practice seems to suggest there are larger implications for the work of art and its engagement with the social that exceed the immediate pre/post-Internet binary of our contemporary technological moment.