Oliver Lutz: "The Mediated Subject"

Opening: Sunday, May 9, 6 – 8 pm

Exhibition Dates: May 9 – June 26, 2010

Scaramouche is pleased to inaugurate its new Orchard Street space with a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Oliver Lutz, his first in New York. “The Mediated Subject” is an installation of monochrome canvases, drawings, and a video work.

Monochrome paintings dominate the gallery space. Infra-red surveillance cameras trained on each are connected to a bank of video monitors. They reveal a figurative under-layer of appropriated images beneath the canvas’s inky blackness, transgressing a modernist space of non-signifying reflection. Accompanying the monochromes are works on paper ranging from early twentieth century photos of landscapes and folk culture to research facility interiors. Set in a drab focus group room, the recently realized video The Behavioral Subject (A Mental Model) features Lutz manipulating various masks, personalities, and tools to form contemporary allegorical narratives.

Incorporating a diverse array of source images, modernist conventions, and political concerns, The Mediated Subject investigates the disorienting affects of representation. Lutz’s gallery surveillance system places the viewer in direct relation to the canvas’s figurative scenes: one canvas features a desktop image of a star nose mole, another an Iraq War photograph found circulating in online communities, and the third an idealized Alpine family having lunch. Together, the work in the exhibition suggests the consequence of a reality progressively anaesthetized by its own self-image: cause is divorced from effect, the ramifications of subjective decisions rendered un-traceable.

Oliver Lutz received his masters degree from the MIT Visual Arts Program in 2006, and his BFA from Cornell in 1996. His work has been exhibited internationally at S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgium, the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart, Germany, and nationally at Artpace in San Antonio, The Kitchen in New York, The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and the Broad Art Center in Los Angeles, among other venues. Upcoming group exhibitions include “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera” at The Tate Modern, which will travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center, and “Coup de Ville” at WARP in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium.