4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42
Curated by Muscle Beach
On view: August 14-September 4Reception: Thursday, August 14, 7–10:00 PM
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. 
[1] Ina Blom, “Media Animism: Rachel Harrison’s Living Images,” in Art & Subjecthood: The Return of the Human Figure in Semiocapitalism, Ed. Isabelle Graw (The Sternberg Press, 2011), 65.

Luc Fuller (b. 1989, Spokane WA) lives and works in Portland OR. Luc has had two solo exhibitions, at Rod Barton (London, UK), and at Multiplex (Portland, OR), both in 2014. In 2014 he was included in a group show I Dunno Shit, at Rogue Project Space (Manchester, UK), curated by Calum Crawford & Joe Fletcher Orr.

Nick Fusaro (b. 1989, Westfield NJ) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Nick recently curated and showed his own work in All Good Children Go to Heaven, at Three Four Three Four Gallery (Brooklyn, NY) in 2014. Recently, he has been included in group shows at The Still House Group (Brooklyn, NY) and 99 Cent Plus Gallery (Brooklyn, NY).

Malcolm Hecht (b. 1992, Louisville CO) lives and works in Portland, OR. He has been a part of three group shows in 2014, including Cycles at Lewis & Clark College (Portland, OR), Until Then at Alcatraz Chicago (Chicago, IL), and Fixtures/Channel at Maxipad (Portland, OR).

Jonah Porter (b. 1992, Portland OR) lives and works in Portland, OR. In 2014 Jonah had a solo exhibition at Multiplex (Portland, OR), and was included in Graphic Corollary Set No. 1, with Amur Initiatives.

Willie Young (b. 1991, San Francisco CA) lives and works in Oakland, CA. He has been part of three group exhibitions in 2014, including Big Paintings at Turpentine Gallery (Oakland, CA), Honorable Mention at 20 Jay St. Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), and Split Fountain at Turpentine Gallery (Oakland, CA). 

Muscle Beach is an ongoing curatorial project by Flynn Casey and Tony Chrenka.

Luc Fuller, Nick Fusaro, Malcolm Hecht, Jonah Porter, Willie Young, 
Flynn A. Casey, Tony Chrenka, Muscle Beach, Littman Gallery, Portland