FIAC: Ericka Beckman

October 20-23, 2016
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Hit and Run (still)
1977
Super-8 transferred to digital, single-channel, color, sound
9 minutes

At FIAC, Cherry and Martin is pleased to present Ericka Beckman’s video installation, “Hit and Run” (1977). This installation, and many of the early drawings that will accompany it, have not previously been seen in Europe.

“Hit and Run” was completed shortly after Beckman finished her studies at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program (New York, NY) and the California Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles, CA). Performers include not only Beckman, but also friends, musicians and artists like Steven Parrino.

In this work Beckman writes that, “Sound and image substitute for one another as carriers of the film’s continuity. I am the performer: I either command the action or I am acted upon. The soundtrack generates my actions, which either moves forward or repeats itself, and I search for the consciousness of regularity with the aid of rhythm. The film explores the phenomenon of when two things are perceived at the same time – as when two images combine in a double exposure. There is an ambiguity in their hierarchy. They might be perceived apart, joined together, one after the other, or one dominates the other out completely. This ‘relationship’ is what I am intuitively exploring. Film sees the unconscious neither as rational, or irrational. Film is a system of relations."

At FIAC, Beckman’s “Hit and Run” will be shown in a darkened room on a hanging screen. Adjacent to this hanging screen will be a white-painted door (lit by timed, theatrical lights) that opens and closes in conjunction with the sound and images seen on the hanging screen. This installation has only rarely been seen in the United States. It last appeared — for the the first time in nearly three decades — in curator Jay Sanders’s monumental exhibition, “Rituals of a Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama - Manhattan, 1970-1980” (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY).

Beckman's work will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Secession (Vienna, Austria) next year. “Ericka Beckman: Works 1978-2013” appeared at Kunsthalle Bern (Bern, Switzerland) in the summer of 2013 and toured to Le Magasin-Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble (Grenoble, France) in 2014.

Other recent solo and group exhibitions include Tate Modern (London, UK); Centre Pompidou (Paris, France); Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea (Turin, Italy); and Swiss Institute (New York, NY). Beckman’s work has been included in four Whitney Biennials as well as “The Pictures Generation 1974-1984,” curated by Douglas Eklund (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2009). Her work is in such collections as Centre Pompidou (Paris, France); Kunsthalle Bern (Bern, Switzerland); Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); and Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH).

A monograph on Beckman’s work, edited by Lionel Bovier, Fabrice Stroun and Geraldine Tedder, was released by JRP Ringier summer 2016.