From the Press Release:
LA JOLLA, CA–The UC San Diego University Art Gallery will host Deep Water Horizon, Hans Weigand’s second solo exhibition in the U.S. after his acclaimed debut at the Portland Landmark, Gallery. Deep Water Horizon is inspired by the fictitious and dystopian landscape of the California Coastline, on which the artist projects all sorts of ambivalent fall-out from the last 30 years of popular culture. Weigand will present eight large-scale multilayered canvases in an octagonal shape. This fractured panoramic seascape is held together by a continuous, distant horizon, which is also a kind of dividing line between what’s on top of this huge wave and what has long been submerged. In this sense, Deep Water Horizon is not only in dialogue with the recent offshore catastrophe but also hints at the archival burden confronted in the age of digital mass memory.
Having worked with large-scale multimedia collages for the last two decades, Weigand has adopted a 3-step process for the production of his canvases. The backdrop of each panel on display is provided by painting, mostly abstract images of nocturnal and daytime “atmospheres” characterized by different light parameters. Printed on these backdrops are large, computer-generated montages of photographic elements, primarily of seascapes shot at various locations in California and Hawaii. Another layer of these collage works engages with bizarre architectural and environmental details found in Las Vegas or in the hinterlands of U.S. vernacular culture. Above this tidal wave of trashy and flashy imagery, the lonely figure of the surfer, in large part modeled on the Comics character of the Silver Surfer, is enthroned in perfect isolation as if he or she were the last one standing amidst the catastrophic debris of a contemporary media storm. The third, and final, layer consists of another surface of hand-painted accentuations that act as smears across the hygienic aesthetics of digital production.
The exhibit also features two supplementary components to the fundamental eight panels presented in Deep Water Horizon. The first is a sequence of simple images that incorporates partly legible words that are set back-to-back with the canvases and positioned to welcome the viewers. Finally, there is an accompanying series of straightforward photographs, selected views of Americana that Weigand has collected in the course of his frequent visits to the U.S. over the past decade. Serious and profoundly humorous at the same time, this piecemeal accumulation of a panoramic counter-spectacle takes on the notion of a “deep water horizon”-embedded somewhere in the depths of our personal archives.
On October 3 and 4 Hans Weigand will screen his film COTTON 2001/2010 in Los Angeles and La Jolla. Juli Carson will follow the screenings with a discussion about Weigand’s work. October 3, 7:00pm: Mandrake, Los Angeles; October 4, 6pm: UC San Diego Visual Arts Facility Performing Space, La Jolla.
About the Artist:
Hans Weigand, born 1954 in Hall in Tirol, lives and works in Vienna and Berlin. He has had numerous international solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the USA.