los-angeles

Ellen Birrell

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

T(h)ree Rings, 1991, Ellen Birrell’s installation, consisted of a three-part sequence of situations in which a variety of materials, photographs, and texts were punningly manipulated to address issues of naming, stereotyping, and marginalization. Birrell constructed her own small exhibition space in one of the museum galleries, finishing this room over the course of the show. The floor and walls of the surrounding gallery were also used for display, and the resulting dichotomy between the site’s interior and exterior aspects reiterated the reflection on classification systems at the work’s core.

Employing milled lumber, graded for building use, Birrell built a basin structure, dry-walling and painting its outside walls, while leaving the inside studs and braces exposed. These were festooned with framed photographs showing found images and graphic devices identifying deviant situations within

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