Shannon Ebner, Instrumentals, 2013, ink-jet print, 75 x 42 1/2".

Shannon Ebner


Shannon Ebner, Instrumentals, 2013, ink-jet print, 75 x 42 1/2".

To some extent, Shannon Ebner’s work has always played with thresholds of legibility. A case in point, the large-scale print Instrumentals (all works cited, 2013) was hung in the back room of her recent exhibition at Wallspace, where it spellbound the viewer into bewilderment. This flattened depiction of seemingly unusual (but in fact quite common) objects appeared to carry some indexical trace, although the connection to a source was left ambiguous. Taken in an auto-body shop in Los Angeles, the photograph is a to-scale representation of a stark white wall, onto which silhouettes of tools have been carefully painted in black, presumably to indicate to workers where the various implements—rulers, pliers, and the like—should hang after they’ve been used. The idea to depict this scene likely came naturally to Ebner when she stumbled upon it, as the striking array of painted

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