Opening reception: Thursday, April 9, 6–8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Hugh Scott-Douglas. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition with Blum & Poe and his first in the New York location.
Lenin is said to have sneered that a capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him. The quote may be spurious, but it contains a grain of truth. Capitalists quite often invent the technology that destroys their own business. Eastman Kodak is a picture-perfect example. It built one of the first digital cameras in 1975. That technology, followed by the development of smartphones that double as cameras, has battered Kodak's old film- and camera-making business almost to death. Strange to recall, Kodak was the Google of its day. Founded in 1880, it was known for its pioneering technology and innovative marketing. “You press the button, we do the rest,” was its slogan in 1888. (“The Last Kodak Moment?,” Economist, January 14, 2012, http://www.economist.com/node/21542796)
Representing a continuation of the artist’s interest in technology’s predilection towards self-effacement through its own progress, Scott-Douglas has created a suite of built images that serve as both index and erasure of the space in which they were made and the techniques used to make them.
Sets of protocols have been established in the pursuit of capturing an image. A modified digital scanner with its top removed creates a slow scan of watch gears, dust particles, and ambient light that lies or passes above its surface. The resulting image forms the base visual content. As the composition becomes further compressed, exported, and printed in layers of industrial black ink on aluminum panel, the original information becomes obfuscated, assuming a material body that is a ghost of its former self. The intended outcome has been blurred in the wake of its own progress. In the pursuit of authoring an original language, the artist has inadvertently altered the system he enabled. It is through the implementation of these technologies that loss of control occurs and a discursive space emerges, calling into question the role of the author within his own work.
Hugh Scott-Douglas (b. 1988 in Cambridge, UK) lives and works in New York. Recent group exhibitions include In ___ We Trust: Art and Money, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH (2014); In Transit: Between Image and Object, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2014); and Pattern: Follow the Rules, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI (2013). His work is included in public and private collections internationally including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; and Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX.