Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sean Higgins - Difficulties with Interplanetary Travel -Collette Blanchard

Sean Higgins
Difficulties with Interplanetary Travel

24 June - 31 July 2009

Opening Reception
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 6-8 pm

Collette Blanchard Gallery is pleased to present Sean Higgins' Difficulties with Interplanetary Travel, which will be on view from June 24th through July 31st, 2009. In his series of eleven unique images, Higgins reworks original photographs and appropriated images from public archives, such as from NASA, into a new reality. The series includes Higgins' reconstructed landscapes, such as I'm a Mountain, Man (2009) and Ancient Traveller (2009), as well as skyscapes of amorphous, cloud-like figures, such as in Lando Calrissian (2009) and Tokyo all Night (Mario Brothers) (2009).

Through his pieces, Higgins prods at the human instinct to associate images with the familiar. Namely, there is a tendency for viewers to look for a "real" object/place that exists or has existed when confronted with an amorphous shape in nature, like a cloud or unidentifiable landmass. Through Difficulties with Interplanetary Travel, Higgins challenges the viewers to see beyond the recognizable and absolute. He adds uncertainty to the images by closely cropping scenes, thereby removing the images' contexts, or employing interesting angles that impede the viewers from seeing the full panoramic surroundings. He recreates the world as we know it into a new fictional world where time and space remain ambiguous. "Real" landscapes, outer space, technology, dreams and memories combine to create a new environment beyond the standard confines of time and space. Are these images from the past, conjured from memory, or from the future? The viewers can never be sure if they are witnessing places/shapes that are familiar to them, intergalactic formations from planets beyond view or awareness, and/or something imagined/created by the artist or within the viewers' imagination. For Higgins, his work is "About a place-but not necessarily a place you can go to."

"...For the figures that appear in the sky make no sense...they are purely chance effects. It is man who, being naturally inclined to imitation, confers a meaning upon them as well as a relative permanence, by associating them with the idea of the creatures that they evoke"
-- Hubert Damisch
"Sign and Symbol" in A Theory of /Cloud/: Toward a History of Painting p. 36

Sean Higgins received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania (1998) and his BFA from Moravian College, PA (1996). He has exhibited in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and New York. The 2007 Island of Relative Stability exhibition marked his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. In 2008, Higgins exhibited at a solo show, Apocrypha, in Seattle where he began the new series of work on exhibit at the Collette Blanchard Gallery. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

For more information please contact Jocelyn London at 917.639.3912 or jocelyn@colletteblanchard.com.

Collette Blanchard Gallery
26 Clinton Street
New York, New York 10002

Gallery Hours are Wed. - Sun. 12 -6 and by appointment.

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