Matt Keegan “Generation”

Participant Inc.

poster for Matt Keegan “Generation”

This event has ended.

PARTICIPANT INC presents Generation, a solo exhibition by Matt Keegan. Generation brings together new sculpture and video that continues the Keegan’s investigation of language and its role in culture. Building upon the artist’s inquiry into the personal manifestations of broader social phenomena, the featured works point to the construction of identity, participation, and citizenship. In Keegan’s formulation, language is central to consensus and collectivity, and, simultaneously, the performance of power through experiences of class difference.

The exhibition’s central work is the titular two-channel video installation in which the artist maps the ideological transmission of meanings among his family. Keegan interviews members of his immediate family, asking each to define a selection of nineteen words. Set within the homes of his subjects, these projections bear witness to education, experience, and fantasy — an impression dynamically related through animation. Alongside this work, Staging features objects from the video, and other props, isolated via ink-jet printed panels on Sheetrock.

A notion of call and response weaves its way throughout the show, and reappears in large-scale laser cut steel sculptures that punctuate the space of exhibition. Two such works, Cutouts (Echo) anchor the viewer’s entrance into PARTICIPANT. Based on simple folded paper cut outs, these abstractions are a recent outgrowth of work made over the last three years. For Generation, Keegan has collaborated with artist Sergei Tcherepnin to equip the mirroring sculptures with a looped composition. These works play sound captured by striking the sculptures themselves with mallets. Attaching transducers directly to their surfaces allows them conduct sound and become speakers. Unlike the rationalized process of assigning meaning to select words, these sculptures participate in an inconclusive space, in which the uncertainty of assigning value, meaning, or interpretation is left open.

Taken together, the works in Generation explore the migration of language into our encounters with the unknown world as we struggle to understand and participate in it. An inquiry into learning rather than teaching, the exhibition, by necessity, also points to the urgent possibilities of unlearning.

Matt Keegan lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work is currently featured in The Artist’s Museum at The ICA Boston, The Sun Placed in the Abyss at the Columbus Museum of Art, and A Traveling Show (with Kay Rosen) at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, which initiated as Eine Wanderausstellung at Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria. Recent group exhibitions include We Are the Center for Curatorial Studies at CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, The Guggenheim, New York. A monograph, OR, was co-published by Inventory Press in conjunction with Keegan’s 2015 solo show, Portable Document Format, at Rogaland Kunstsenter, Stavanger, Norway. Keegan is the co-founding editor and publisher of North Drive Press (2004- 2010) and founding editor of == (2012 and 2014).



from January 08, 2017 to February 12, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-01-08 from 19:00 to 21:00


Matt Keegan

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