REDCAT Los Angeles

Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater | 631 W. 2nd Street
CA-90012 Los Angeles

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artist / participant

press release

Opening reception: Wednesday, April 23, 6 - 9pm Conversation between Dave McKenzie and Rodney McMillian, 6:30pm

Through video, performance, sculpture and installation, Dave McKenzie explores notions of public space and cultural exchange in relation to the private self. Often informed by humble actions and everyday circumstances, his modest proposals examine the world around us, revealing a larger set of social and political truths that are evidenced in the everyday. McKenzie’s diverse practice presents a quiet but critical model for engagement, one that poetically examines our dependence upon prescribed social roles and responsibilities while contemplating the place of the individual within this particular moment in time.

In a recent project entitled I’ll Be There (2007), McKenzie distributed a pre-printed day planner noting his whereabouts for the coming year and offering his audience opportunities to meet him at specified locations, dates, and times. He elaborates: “I am trying to make myself available without regard to outcome. Whether they decide to meet me or not is almost secondary.” Through this series of open-ended acts, he contemplates the potential he holds as an individual to bring about change, encourage dialogue, and forge new meaning.

For his exhibition at REDCAT, McKenzie presents a major body of work—consisting of new painting, sculpture and video—that expands upon his thinking about the individual’s relationship to the social body. He considers how we are shaped by the political events around us and, as individuals, negotiate the larger constructs of political, national or social identity. In this context, McKenzie also examines his own practice, revisiting past works as a form of exchange between his own thinking and public response. This is McKenzie’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Born 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica, Dave McKenzie graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, P.S.1 National Studio Program and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He presented solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Small A Projects, Portland; Gallery 40000, Chicago; and Savage Art Resources, Portland. His work has also been included in Performa 07, New York; Freestyle, Studio Museum in Harlem; Queens International, Queens Museum of Art; 24/7, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius; and Listening to New Voices, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center. In 2005, McKenzie was the recipient of the William H. Johnson Prize and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

This exhibition is made possible in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Standard Downtown is the official hotel of REDCAT.

Dave McKenzie: