Painting, sculpture, video, installation and performance are all media used by Jim Shaw since the late 1970s, helping to put across an encyclopedic and hectic vision. Shaw is an atypical figure in the Californian art world, sharing with Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley a similar desire to produce an immersive visual oeuvre aimed at exploring the dark side of the American psyche. The show presents a new body of works entitled Left Behind.
curated by Charlotte Laubard
Painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installation and performance are all media used by the artist Jim Shaw since the late 1970s, helping to put across an encyclopedic and hectic vision. Jim Shaw is an atypical figure in the Californian art world, sharing with Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley a similar desire to produce an immersive visual oeuvre aimed at exploring the dark side of the American psyche.
Some fifteen figurative paintings made on old backdrops establish the décor, quite literally, in the CAPC's nave. Their extraordinary dimensions call to mind the Pompeiian excessive size of 19th century academic painting. On these painted décors, the motifs added by the artist float like apparitions. Inspired by the 'cut-up' technique used by the writer William Burroughs, Jim Shaw gathers heterogeneous iconographic sources and overlays antithetical visual languages (from abstraction to hyperrealism, by way of the schematics of illustration) and plunges us into a wild and glutted narrative world. The iconic symbols of American culture, of the history of modern art, of consumerism, of biblical imagery, of genre movies, of comic strips, of political and media personalities, and of 9/11 all co-exist in a paradoxical and floating manner against backgrounds of bucolic suburban scapes in a mythologized Midwest. The distortion of the figures, and their fragmentation and multiplication bolster the impression of deliquescence and sense of loss.
Jim Shaw proceeds by cycles. Over several years, he thus develops a discontinuous narrative form. Together with the artist's Dream Objects and works related to Oism, the religion he invented which recycles his country's groundbreaking myths and its crypto-sectarian beliefs, the exhibition will present a new body of works entitled Left Behind. The Left Behind series echoes the shift from old fashioned, small-scale capitalism to Reaganite neo-liberalism beginning in the late 1970s, climaxing in the hubris of the Bush Jr. regime. A shift which, for the artist, results in particular in the end of a working-class consciousness and the rise, in the way the country's affairs were run, of millenarian beliefs prophesying the Apocalypse (Born Again Christians, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and certain conservative evangelical tendencies…).
The exhibition will also present for the first time the collection of eschatological Christian objects that the artist has been gathering for more than twenty years.
Friday May 7, 2010 at 9 p.m.
Jim Shaw, Musical Performance
Friday 7 May 2010 at 9 p.m.
Made up of vocal and instrumental improvisations, as well as popular folk tunes, the score will be performed by the artist and his group during the opening, with instruments/sculptures devised to this end.
Wednesday May 19, 7 p.m.
The End is Here, lecture-visit of the Jim Shaw exhibition
By Fabrice Stroun, art critic and curator, Geneva
Wednesday June 2, 7 p.m.
Occultism & Esotericism, astrological consulting
By Lys Reygor, artist and writer, Bordeaux
Wednesday September 15, 7 p.m.
I Hear Voices, haunted music in the exhibition
Sound program proposed by Xavier Chabellard, music programmer, Bordeaux
Workshop from the Jim Shaw's exhibition
4 days from Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 July
for 7 – 11 years old children. Registation required.
Image: Jim Shaw, Left Behind CAPC Bordeaux, 2010
Photo CAPC © Mairie de Bordeaux
Vernissage and musical performance 7 May 2010 at 9 p.m.
CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux
Entrepôt Lainé, 7 rue Ferrère, F-33000 Bordeaux
11-18 everyday except Mondays
11-20 on Wednesdays