4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 | Muscle Beach


August 14 – September 4, 2014 | Littman Gallery

Reception: Thursday, August 14, 2014 | 7–10pm

During a 2011 conference at the Institut fur Kunstkritik in Frankfurt, Ina Blom gave a talk exploring the ways in which artworks can take on human characteristics, and to some extent function as subjects rather than objects. Titled Media Animism, the talk was specifically referencing the work of Rachel Harrison, explaining that this “sensation of the live and the living” seems to be “the function of a certain collapse in the distinction between two-dimensional images and three-dimensional constructions.”[1] The personification of artworks is a common tool of art criticism, but the idea that a work can actually function as a subject seems to be more recent. This notion opens up many possibilities, not only that artworks can have specific personality traits and idiosyncrasies, but also that these personality traits can develop and change over time, perhaps depending on the habits of the other works in an exhibition.

In the popular ABC television series LOST, the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 were originally introduced as a serial number located on the hatch of an underground DHARMA Initiative station. Over the course of the show it became clear that these numbers in fact referred to six characters, selected as the final candidates to replace Jacob as protector of the island.

The works selected for this show in many ways exemplify the “sensation of the live and the living” that Blom discusses in Media Animism, through the collapsing of different aspects of space and time, not unlike the supernatural qualities of the island on which the characters of LOST are stranded. Like these characters, the works selected have been given the task of communicating with each other in order to explain and define the environment in which they exist. The exact relationship they bear towards one another is not yet clear, and will develop over the course of the exhibition.