Geof Oppenheimer: Monsters
a. Love and Other Abstractions b. Ends Have a Million Fathers, the blues
c. The Embarrassing Statue d. It's Not Funny, It's Human
May 16 — June 21, 2014
2831A Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94110 USA
Opening reception: Friday, May 16, 6 - 8pm
Gallery hours: Tuesday — Saturday, 11 -6pm
Ratio 3 is pleased to present Monsters, an exhibition of sculptural and photographic works by Geof Oppenheimer. By showcasing the human body’s capacity to record thought and action, the works comprising Monsters suggest that the body can be read as a record of social values.
Installed in the main gallery, The Embarrassing Statue (2014) combines disparate materials to suggest a solitary figure. A brass-plated armature equipped with a leaf blower sits atop a marble pedestal, referencing both classical notions of figurative sculpture and modern conventions of display. The figure serves as a signifier for the embarrassment and degradation that can accompany the public performance of labor and its dehumanizing effect.
Oppenheimer’s new photographic project, Ends Have a Million Fathers, the blues (2014), is a suite of fifteen photographs of wounded skin. Depicting physical results of violence, the photographs function as a record of the failure of nonviolent means of political recourse. With this suite of images, Oppenheimer frames the body’s skin as a melancholic register of conflict.
Love and Other Abstractions (2011-2012) further investigates the body’s sensitivity to social pressures, particularly those put forth by governing institutions. Originally commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Love and Other Abstractions creates a theatrical relationship between a cast graphite bust and a suspended triangular neon sign. With each of its faces declaring societal obligations and responsibilities, the sign’s language suggests oppressive constraints, while the bust’s degraded form reflects the psychic toll of these constraints.
By positioning the human figure as a political form, Monsters is a return to the historical use of the body as a stand-in for larger social forces and as a repository of collective meaning.
Geof Oppenheimer (b. 1973, Washington D.C.) has exhibited at institutions including PS1/MOMA, NY; The Contemporary Museum, Baltimore; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; SITE Santa Fe; The Indianapolis Museum of Art; The Aspen Art Museum; and the AGORA 4th Athens Biennale. Oppenheimer has a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Evanston, IL. He received his BFA at the Maryland Institute, College of Art and received his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley. Geof Oppenheimer lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. This is his second solo exhibition with Ratio 3.