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A world ruled by structures and systems where performance is key, optimisation forms a constant preoccupation and gamification is used as a means to drive up participation… All these properties defining society today were first explored by Ericka Beckman in her films in the early 1980s, long before the introduction of social media and virtual interaction.
At M, the American artist presents her multimedia installation ‘Nanotech Players’ (1989), her first 16 mm film ‘You The Better’ (1983), and her new film ‘Reach Capacity’ (2020), shown in world premiere on a rotating screen. The two films share the use of game as a structuring device, popular culture imagery, and a commentary on capitalism and real estate. Is it at all possible to stand up against the ruling system?
Alongside this political comment, Beckman intends to provoke a bodily response. The physical activity on screen contributes to engage the audience, as do the easily identifiable objects and the restricted set of bright colours. The props displayed in the gallery blur the boundaries, turning two-dimensional viewing into a three-dimensional experience. While this is how the artist has always envisaged the presentation of her work, it is only recently that technology and a shift in curatorial practices have made this display possible, freeing her films from the screening room and bringing them to life as installations.
Curator: Valerie Verhack
With the support of Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles)
This exhibition will travel on to Kestner Gesellschaft (Hannover), where it will be presented from 25.06.21 until 12.09.21.
Due to Covid-19 there was no physical opening event. Instead, M opened the exhibition with a livestream on Facebook on Thursday evening 15.10.
All accompanying information for the exhibition 'Fair Game' by Ericka Beckman is provided offline and online. You have the option to take a paper folder or scan a QR-code at the beginning of the exhibition.
Ericka Beckman (°1951, New York) lives and works in New York City and Boston. The artist attended the California Institute of the Arts (MFA, 1976), collaborating with peers such as Mike Kelley. Recent solo shows include Ericka Beckman: Double Reverse at MIT List Visual Arts Center (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2019), and Ericka Beckman. Game Mechanics at Secession (Vienna, 2017). Over her three-decade career, Beckman has participated in numerous group exhibitions, amongst which the groundbreaking 2009 show The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984 at The Met (New York). Her work can be found in many public and private collections, including The Met (New York), MoMA (New York) and Centre Pompidou (Paris). Ericka Beckman is represented by Philip Martin Gallery (Los Angeles).