Uncharted Settlements


If the above image (“Uncharted Settlements I”) is anything to go by, the upcoming Slater Bradley show at the Taka Ishii Gallery in November is going to be a fun one — let the geek within take control!

Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce the debut solo exhibition in Japan of New York based artist Slater Bradley. A selection of the artist’s recent solo and group museum exhibitions includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2005), the Museum Reina Sofia (Madrid, 2005) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, 2004). Slater Bradley’s work was first exhibited in Japan in the group exhibition Study (Taka Ishii Gallery, 2002). In 1998 the artist collaborated with Takashi Murakami’s Hiropon Factory on the release and distribution of the video Take me home forever and ever .

A significant portion of Slater Bradley’s work is comprised of photographs and films produced in collaboration with his friend and look-alike, Benjamin Brock. Throughout their collaboration, Brock has served as Bradley’s doppelganger – first posing as the artist in press and other promotional material, subsequently portraying cultural icons significant to Bradley. The icons impersonated by Brock include two independent rock musicians, Ian Curtis of the band Joy Division and Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana, as well as the ubiquitous Michael Jackson. Significantly, each of these cultural figures was destroyed, in large part, by the public nature of their existence. Both Curtis and Cobain, having attained early fame, committed suicide; Michael Jackson’s continual transformation from pop idol to spectacle continues to unfold in the media. For each icon, Bradley produced a film using equipment and formal devices directly referencing the figure and their time. These films and their accompanying photographs comprise the series known as the Doppelganger Trilogy .

Taka Ishii Gallery will exhibit, in its entirety, a new body of work entitled Uncharted Settlements. This new series consists of 6 large-scale photographic works, a film piece and a boxed photographic portfolio. Uncharted Settlements exists as a record of Bradley and Brock’s participation in Celebration III, a convention organized by fans of the Star Wars film series. Dressed in Star Wars costumes, the artist and his doppelganger pose for photographs, capture moments on film and make new friends; their actions indistinguishable from those of other convention participants. Star Wars serves as a further environment in which Bradley may examine mediated identity; the participation of a cast other than Brock -a cast which includes Bradley himself- further complicates the project.

The show will be held November 11 to December 10.