International Priority, Los Angeles-London trk#868587728006
October 2-6, 2009
2009-polished copper and accrued FedEx shipping and tracking labels 20 x 20 x 20 inches
Photo: Hugh Kelly Courtesy of the artist
Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; and Wallspace, New York
Walead Beshty’s UCCA solo show, the first exhibition of his work in China, reveals a remarkable series of objects and prints that bear the scars of production, packaging, international shipping, and interactions with various people, places and things en route to Beijing.
Beshty happened upon his unique photographic process in 2006, when he accidentally let his film pass through an airport x-ray machine; the resulting film was a beautiful exposure of color and patterns that hinted, disturbingly, at “invasive elements” in the process of artistic creation. Since then, Beshty has developed a complete aesthetic vocabulary that explores the process of material deterioration as a motivating creative force in his artwork.
This exhibition brings together photographic works exposed in the airport during the artist’s site visit to Beijing, copper panels oxidized with the handprints of installation handlers, mirror and glass sculptures (sized to the dimensions of FedEx boxes) that bear the marks of their transit from L.A. to Beijing, and mirrored flooring panels that crack with the footsteps of each exhibition visitor. By subjecting his work to physical deterioration as a condition of its visibility, Beshty demonstrates that simply viewing a work of art imposes a cost on that object.