previews

  • “ELEANOR ANTIN: TIME’S ARROW”

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    5905 Wilshire Boulevard
    May 12–July 7

    Curated by Michael Govan and Dhyandra Lawson

    Before Eleanor Antin became a ballerina, nurse, or king, she made herself into a living statue, acting as both Pygmalion and Galatea. Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, 1972—composed of 148 gelatin silver prints in a grid—documents the artist’s naked body over thirty-eight days of dieting, during which she lost eleven pounds. For “Time’s Arrow,” Antin revisits this iconic work with a new piece, Carving: 45 Years Later, 2017, comprising five hundred pigment prints that display the artist’s no longer “traditionally” sculpted body, but rather the slow pace of an eighty-two-year-old metabolism, contextualized within the contemporary spectacle of selfie as commodity. The exhibition will also include The Eight Temptations, 1972, an octet of small color prints depicting the artist theatrically posing her refusal of cheese, bananas, and beer, among other foods, at the kitchen table, and a 2017 self-portrait titled, in another heroic gesture, !!!. Travels to the Art Institute of Chicago, August 17, 2019–January 5, 2020.

  • “MARYAM JAFRI: I DRANK THE KOOL-AID BUT I DIDN’T INHALE”

    The Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA)
    1717 E. 7th Street
    February 10–June 30

    Organized by Jamillah James

    Maryam Jafri’s first solo institutional exhibition in the United States revolves around the vexed and varied histories of discontinued food products from the past century. Geared toward lower-income consumers, these motley, American-made products—Diet Pepsi baby bottles; Jell-O flavors for salads; frozen, ready-made PB&J sandwiches, and the like—offer up a fascinating window onto the commodification of desire. In a selection of work made between 2014 and 2015, the artist presents photographs and multimedia displays featuring reappropriated packaging from thirteen such products—the fruits of Jafri’s time spent rummaging through obscure specialist archives—along with texts that animate the socioeconomic milieus in which they came into being. Jafri, whose earlier projects have explored the antinomies of the wellness industry, the politics of images, and the invention of tradition, casts a wry look at how these consumer goods—stark, typographically interesting, even chic—uncannily evoke high design, fashion, and Conceptual art as they circulate anew, untethered to their origins.