Tom Meacham | Imaginary Landscape No. 9
Paris London Hong Kong is pleased to invite you to Imaginary Landscape No. 9, New York artist Tom Meacham’s first solo project with the gallery.
“The world, the real is not an object, it is a process.” – John Cage
At a certain point I found myself at an intellectual crossroads. The “aura” of the art object, as defined by Walter Benjamin, long after its death, was and is still providing a superficial haven for artists. Simultaneously the notion of rejecting the art object for a pure conceptualism seemed unsatisfying.
As it was the centennial of John Cage’s birth, there was a deluge of Cage’s concerts and events, which I took in. I thought about Cage. I thought about Brecht and “alienation effect.” I thought about Deleuze and the construct of an assemblage, desire in the aggregate, which led me to think about Girard and mimetic desire; the appropriation of the desires of the model, to destroy, to become the model of desire.
The posters began as a negation, a democratization, and a tongue in cheek gesture. The images are mimetic, stolen, imposters, specifically unoriginal. They are printed, flat, exact, no hand, clones. And the poster is the medium of the advertisement for an event, the advertisement for the sale of the art objects.
“In order for an event to occur, a difference of potential is necessary.” – Gilles Deleuze
I used Cage’s ideas to allow me to remove ego from the installation. That I, the artist could become, at least partially, an automaton, a robot. I used computer algorithms to randomize the colors of the individual posters. Then an algorithm to randomize the number and placement of objects from an almost unlimited set of possible outcomes is applied. This show is the first and singular result of this algorithm.
Bertolt Brecht explains that the point of his “alienation effect” was ultimately to challenge the audience, to metaphorically wake them up, to give them a real experience not to fulfill their expectations. Brecht wrote, “Once the idea of the total transformation is abandoned the actor speaks his part not as if he were improvising it himself but like a quotation. At the same time he obviously has to render all the quotations overtones, the remarks full human and concrete shape: similarly the gesture he makes must have the full substance of a human gesture even though it now represents a copy.”
-Tom Meacham, October 2013
Tom Meacham received his BA from Columbia University. He has been featured in solo shows in at Oliver Kamm Gallery in New York as well as Galerie Kienzle and Gmeiner in Berlin. He’s shown extensively in group exhibitions including Eyes Wide Shut, a two-person show with Cheryl Donegan at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery and Kabinett 6 with Donegan and Wade Guyton at devening projects + editions in Chicago. His exhibitions have been reviewed by The New York Times, Artforum and The New Yorker among others. He lives and works in New York.
Tom Meacham and Paris London Hong Kong have made available a free 41 x 27 inch editioned poster for Imaginary Landscape No. 9.