September 10, 2014

Cao Fei at Lombard Freid Projects

La Town
Cao Fei
Lombard Freid Projects
September 10 – October 25

Cao Fei returns for her fifth exhibition at Lombard Freid Projects — this time premiering the 43 minute film, La Town. Projected onto a 9′ x 15′ screen, which dominates the main space of the gallery, La Town drags the viewer on a journey through fantastically film-noir stylized version of contemporary China gone very, very wrong.



Cao Fei: La Town, 2014
9′ x 15′ projection screen / Lombard Freid Projects


In Cao Fei’s words:


At a place called the Night Museum”, open only after dusk, various artifacts about “darkness” are on display. There is the American horror film: “30 days of Night”, Chinese artist Chu Yun’s installation “Constellation” and surprisingly, there is even an iPad app game for “The Godfather”. The current exhibition is about La Town.


Everyone has heard the myth of La Town. The story first appeared in Europe but after traveling through a space-time wormhole, reappeared in Asia and Southeast Asia. It was last seen near the ocean bordering the Eurasian tectonic plate, vanishing in its midst as if a mirage.
La Town, struck by unknown disaster – where without sunlight, time froze. Polar night was all encompassing so the few instances of white nights have been momentously recorded in the town’s history. Yet, through the drifting of time and space, various countries have rewritten La Town’s history — and details have been neglected. Now, the story of the small towns past — love affairs, politics, life, demons and disasters — have all been sealed beneath the museums vitrines, the historical “specimens” becoming an authoritative but limited interpretation of this town’s history.


The exhibition continues in the back room with five large dibond mounted digital-c print still images from the film (this is our part!).


LFP_Cao Fei 9:14
Cao Fei: La Town
Digital-c print, dibond


This is our third exhibition with Cao Fei at Lombard Freid Projects — her previous show Playtime can be seen here.



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September 12, 2013

The Propeller Group at Lombard Freid Projects

Lived, Lives, Will Live!
The Propeller Group
Lombard Freid Projects
September 12 – October 26, 2013


TPG_blog page
From Lived, Lives, Lived, The Propeller Group



From the Lombard Freid Projects press release:
Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles-based collective The Propeller Group—formed by Phunam, Matt Lucero, and Tuan Andrew Nguyen in 2006—will open their debut solo exhibition in the United States at Lombard Freid. Reinvigorating a once famous Leninist slogan, Lived, Lives, Will Live!, the group’s new works are part of a larger practice exploring the relationships between politics, celebrity culture, and collective histories. Following close on the heels of the media frenzy surrounding Jay Z’s now infamous “Picasso Baby” performance, TPG’s paintings, sculptures, and photographs form a new strategy where hip-hop and Hollywood converge as historical and political resurgence.


The rise of Communism in the twentieth century led to the erecting of statues of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin around the world, making him the most monumentalized individual in history. Lived, Lives, Will Live! reexamines the legacy of the revolutionary leader as the unraveling of Communism has brought about the subsequent toppling of these monuments. TPG’s works revive Lenin through a hyper-consumerist rebranding of his public image for the twenty-first century.


Inaugurating an ongoing series of paintings, TPG have commissioned hand-embroidered interventions on original painted portraits of Vladimir Lenin that once hung in regional Communist Party headquarters across the U.S.S.R. With the addition of various hairstyles spanning Leonardo DiCaprio’s filmography, the revolutionary leader is equipped for contemporary superstardom. Drawing from Internet conspiracies about DiCaprio’s being a lost relative of Lenin, the series addresses the political ramifications of representation and celebrity idolatry. As culture blogs report that DiCaprio will play Lenin in a rumored film, TPG will continue the series throughout the actor’s career until the two figures are united in a Hollywood historical drama, collapsing history and identity.


Additionally, TPG will embellish public monuments of Vladimir Lenin with jewelry as grandiose as the statues themselves. Beginning with one of the first dismantled monuments of Lenin—removed from Leninplatz, East Berlin in 1992—TPG plan to acquire the head of the monument, plate it in gold, and hang it from an oversized Cuban-link chain on the 27-meter tall Lenin statue in Volgograd Russia—the largest remaining in the world. In preparation, the group has created a set of large scaled architectural maquettes depicting the process of beheading, blinging, and installing the transformed head of the Leninplatz sculpture.


The gold pendant, amplified to a monumental scale, references various methods of portraying power throughout history—royal jewels, war medals, etc.—and the appropriation of these tactics through the ostentation and exaggeration of hip-hop culture. Alluding to diamond-encrusted Jesus pieces and rapper Rick Ross’s pendant portraits of himself, TPG’s proposed monumental bling explores the border between identity and ornamentation, tracing the malleability of personality in the public sphere.


TPG will also produce a series of photographs, imagining the blinged-out Volgograd Lenin in its site-specific context. These digitally produced renderings highlight the enormous scale of their proposal and reference the unrealized utopian plans of Vladimir Tatlin and El Lissitzky. Pedestals around the gallery will hold jewelry-store displays, showcasing human-scale gold-plated Lenin necklaces. Produced in an edition of 5, these 3D printed necklaces blur the line between sculpture and jewelry, transforming a public monument into reproducible, privately owned commodities.


The Propeller Group uses mass media as a platform to combine seemingly contradictory phenomena: advertising and politics, history and future, and public and private. TPG often pushes their work back into the public sphere, using commodities as a form of public art. As an integral part of their practice, TPG has cultivated the guise of an advertising agency—a public relations firm that confuses the brand and the brand message.



LTI-Lightside was asked to image and print five 30″ x 40″ archival inkjet photographs for this exhibition. We also advised and facilitated the framing of those works along with six additional augmented oil paintings.



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May 16, 2011

Thursday 5/19 openings

As always, there are a ton of openings on any given Thursday evening in New York City … and we’ve spent the past few weeks simultaneously working our way through two exhibitions that open tomorrow night. Both were pretty straight-forward projects involving the usual mix of services: silver gelatin b+w, archival pigment printing, digital and conventional c-print, and some mounting and framing … the funny part (to us, anyway) was how worlds-apart the work felt .. or at least in this case, a half a world apart, literally.


And although these artists will likely never be exhibited side-by-side in the same gallery, this post might at least give you a sense of how weird it is for us to be surrounded by say, a still youngish Keith Richards making breakfast in 1975 next to a derelict band of CBeebies living under a bridge in the middle of China somewhere …


Cao Fei, meet Ken Regan …  Ken, Cao Fei.


Ken Regan
Morrison Hotel Gallery
May – June, 2011

Ken Regan: Keith Richards Making Breakfast, Montauk, NY, 1975
30″ x 40″ archival pigment print



Cao Fei
Lombard Freid Projects
May 19 – June 25, 2011


Cao Fei: After a Long Day (Post Garden, Eye-SPY Photo Series), 2011
60cm x 80cm digital c-print, dibond mount, maple frame



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February 17, 2011

Big Night, Part 2: “Minor Cropping May Occur” at Lombard Freid Projects

Minor Cropping May Occur (selected diaries 1961-2001)
Group Exhibition
Lombard Freid Projects
February 17 – March 18, 2011


Opening tonight at Lombard Freid Projects is a particularly ambitious photographic survey spanning five decades. Curated by Lea Freid and Nick Haymes, Minor Cropping May Occur (selected diaries 1961-2011) sports over 150 images from thirteen internationally scattered photographers. Our contribution? An odd mix of trimming, mounting and framing, all at breakneck speed … and I can tell you one thing for sure, the show title is accurate!


row 1: Nick Haymes
row 2: Diafu Motoyuki
row 3: Keizo Katajima
row 4: Walter Pfieffer


You can read more about Minor Cropping May Occur by clicking here.

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