press release

Sarah Beddington None of Sarah Beddington’s video pieces have been staged. They present ‘found’ images in which the camera never moves during one continuous shot. Her video entitled 180 degrees, shot in a toy store in Las Vegas, shows two battery operated dogs who seem destined for an encounter, but a leash on the small dachshund and the trajectory of the pink poodle just prevent this from taking place. we go round the mulberry bush, also shot in a Las Vegas toy store at the time the war in Iraq was still officially taking place, shows a toy soldier at the center of an automatonic mayhem; a horse chases a pig in an endless, hopeless circle; hamsters in pink translucent domes roll around until they end up on their backs; a fat lady (in bikini) does sit-ups oblivious to the chaos. Luxor Levels was made inside the Luxor Palace Hotel, also in Las Vegas. Shot through a pane of glass, large reflections of figures behind the viewer exist in a parallel world, disconnected from tiny figures that make their way to and from rooms on various levels of the hotel. This contrast of scale heightens the aesthetic disconnect of the city. Invisible Woman is also shot through glass, from the interior of a café at night. Looking out of the window at the store across the street, dark silhouettes of people and traffic passing by beyond the glass make visible the reflection of a woman in profile eating and drinking inside. The woman exists behind the viewer and is only made visible for sporadic moments by that which is outside.

All of these videos were shot within non-domestic, publicly accessible spaces (such as hotels, casinos, cafés and malls) where natural light is filtered out – with the result that real time dissolves. Moreover, by zooming in on often overlooked details, the everyday becomes further abstracted and surreal. Beddington’s eye for places of aesthetic potential is coupled with a masterful narrative ability that solidifies these cultural and visual fragments into evocative tableaux. These scenarios – whether in the repetition of battery operated toys, revolving restaurant tables or reflections in a pane of glass – enmesh viewers in a world in which architectural scale and narrative identification trade places. The result is a world that is hypnotically voyeuristic – yet unsettlingly familiar.

Sarah Beddington is a British artist based in New York, who works with painting, video and installation. She recently completed a residency at ISCP in New York. She has a masters degree from Central Saint Martins School of Art and has shown extensively in the UK, Europe and the USA . Her work is in private and public collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Fritz Welch Fritz Welch's installation also presents a world transformed through a manipulation of context. Based in the types of cultural products and by-products that pile up around us like so much trash, Welch produces his work through a process of disassembly, ruination, and regeneration. The artist finds his inspiration in sources as varied as agit-prop graffiti, found photos, and concrete poetry, as well as in the ever evolving culture of avant garde music and performance.

The work included at Momenta includes a large sculpture, just beyond human scale. Pure in its geometric reference – but piss elegant; the monolith resists being solely formal (or anti-formal) through cultural engagement. Not only does the object hold out a hollowed tree stump like a sort of baptismal font – but also it is surrounded by text and images that act as a kind of corrupt pop congregation. Text from Raoul Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life, selectively blacked-out images on posters, and a handmade poster advertising the limitless possibilities and glories of human mutation create an interstitial space between the world and individual action. Together, this work suggests an oxymoronic will to power of the margins, offering a radicalized, yet still latent, social desire for change.

Fritz Welch is a Brooklyn-based artist who has exhibited work extensively in the US and Europe. He also plays drums and percussion with the groups psi, HorseEyeless and the live video ensemble Naval Cassidy and the Hands of Orlak and is the vocalist for the akshun/muzak duo, Pee In My Face With Surgery. He has recently exhibited at Participant, Inc. in New York, Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna, Transmission Gallery in Glasgow, the AC Project Room in New York, and his work will be will be in an upcoming show at Stedlijk Bureau in Amsterdam.


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Sarah Beddington / Fritz Welch