Julie Becker: I must create a Master Piece to pay the Rent

Share this

Categories:

Exhibition Type:

How many artists: 
1

How many exhibition works:

City:

Date: 
Friday, 8 June 2018 to Sunday, 12 August 2018
Opening: 
Thursday, 7 June 2018 - 6:00pm

I must create a Master Piece to pay the Rent is the first survey exhibition devoted to the work of the late Julie Becker (1972–2016).

Embedded in the psychological, cinematic and material geographies of Los Angeles, her home city, Becker produced a legendary, yet underrepresented body of installations, sculpture, drawings, photographs and video. These works speak to the language and mythology of the late 20th century American Dream turned nightmare, drawing from sources as diverse as Stephen King’s The Shining, Disney’s fantasy The Gnome-Mobile, Kay Thompson’s children’s books Eloise and suburban stoner myths espousing the karmic convergence between The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Within Becker’s drawings and videos of dreamlike scenarios, and architectural spaces realised at actual scale or as models, such shared cultural references collide with an idiosyncratic, and at times, dark aura of childish wonder and projection. Becker once stated, ‘A refrigerator box, in American cities, can be the last refuge of the homeless. They’re also temporary places for children to play in.’ In her work, interior spaces appear psychically charged and provisional, conjuring sites for potential refuge and fantastical escape.

Becker reflected on her own living circumstances while constructing altered narratives around other real and fictional lives. Works such as the installation Researchers, Residents, A Place to Rest (1993–1996) and the open-ended series Whole, reflect the artist’s direct experiences of spaces of precarity, such as a single room occupancy hotel or a dilapidated building caught in the flux of real estate speculation. According to writer and filmmaker Chris Kraus, Researchers, Residents, A Place to Rest combines, ‘a Balzacian zeal to excavate urban archaeology through fiction, and a very post-modern willingness to acknowledge the strange penetrations and crossed subjectivities that occurred in the body and mind of the [artist] herself.’ In Whole, Becker channelled the lingering presence of her Echo Park building’s former inhabitant, who had passed away from an AIDS related illness. This multifaceted project of drawings, sculpture, photographs and video moves between an imagined life and the very real spectre of imminent gentrification and displacement.

Throughout her work, Becker navigated the formations of truth, fiction and myth in both the material and symbolic realm. Considering the present historical moment, where a real estate mogul-cum-reality TV celebrity occupies the position of ‘leader of the free world’, Becker’s singular aesthetic visions unerringly articulate the fantasies and dispossessions underpinning the social imaginary of late-capitalism. 

Lead image: Whole (Screen), 1999, C-print on aluminium, courtesy Greene Naftali, New York 

This exhibition has been made possible through the lead support of Greene Naftali, New York; and by the Julie Becker Exhibition Supporters Circle and the Friends of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. We would like to thank Phillipe Vergne, Director of LA MOCA, and his colleagues for their assistance in realising the exhibition. 

Artist ( Name ):

Telephone: 
020 7930 3647
Other Info: 

Open Tuesday - Sunday, 11am - 9pm

Venue ( Address ): 

The Mall
SW1Y 5AH

Add new comment

view
Situations screening + Q&A with Claudia Rankine
06/13/2018
view
Plotting Decolonial Options: Translocal Interrogations
05/05/2018
view
Hortense Spillers in conversation with Gail Lewis
06/09/2018
view
Julie Becker: I must create a Master Piece to pay the Rent
06/08/2018 to 08/12/2018

Pages

_____________________________________________

Related Shows This Week in UK

view
Stuart Mel Wilson: Aporia
03/07/2019 to 04/06/2019
view
Map of the Mould
03/08/2019 to 04/21/2019
view
Yelena Popova, Joanna Rajkowska, Jan Eric Visser: What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?
03/22/2019 to 05/04/2019
view
Beyond Vision, The Soul Within - The Spark of Multiculturalism
03/30/2019 to 03/31/2019
view
Seeen & Heard: Victorian Children in the Frame
11/23/2018 to 04/28/2019
view
Eyelids Mirrored Within
02/27/2019 to 03/30/2019
view
Feliks Culpa: The Ongoing Moment
03/07/2019 to 04/06/2019
view
Etel Adnan: Elsewhere
02/28/2019 to 03/30/2019

Pages