Opening: Thursday, September 16, 2010, 6 - 8 pm
At the Chelsea gallery, In Search of is comprised of 5 new wall-based pieces and 2 sculptural
works. At the center of the exhibition is the 30-minute video entitled In Search of, which
functions as the show’s narrative thread. The video is based upon the late 1970s television
series In Search of hosted by Leonard Nimoy, where each episode was devoted to investigating
mysterious and paranormal phenomena. Jackson’s film, divided into three parts, examines
different forms of anthropomorphism. The first part looks at how man conceives life as viewed
from outer space; the second part examines the literal and metaphoric aspects of artistic
journeys; and the final part investigates the rise and fall of civilizations and how the past is
communicated through objects.
The themes in the film In Search of are found throughout the exhibition. The large-scale
Barnstorming the Moon is based on the June 6, 1969 cover of Life magazine and connects the
image of the space traveler with that of the artist, suggesting that belief enables both to move
beyond their physical and mental limitations. August 6, 1945 refers to the date Hiroshima was
leveled by the first atomic bomb. The allusion to Hiroshima’s destruction is juxtaposed with
an aerial view of Hamburg, itself destroyed by fire bombing from Allied planes. Both
Barnstorming the Moon and August 6, 1945 explore how technological developments done for
the advancement of human society can easily become complicit in the hunger for conquest and
power as well as the destruction of human life. In Study Collection VI, an enormous stainless
steel shelf filled with objects (some of which are featured in the film In Search of), Jackson
counters the assumption that events and historical narratives progress in a linear fashion by
putting disparate elements on an equal footing. In Jackson’s art, history is not cosigned to the
past but exists in and alongside the present.
Matthew Day Jackson was born 1974 in Panorama City, CA and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
National and international solo exhibitions include shows at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2009);
the MIT List Visual Art Center, Cambridge, MA (2009) traveled to Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX
(2009); Mario Diacono, Boston, MA (2007); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX (2007); the Cubitt Artists
Space, London, England (2006); the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR (2006). In addition,
Jackson’s work was exhibited in group shows at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2010);
the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2009); the Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2009);
the Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2009); the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2008-9); the Henry
Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (2008); the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX (2008); the Whitney Biennial, NY
(2006) and Greater New York, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NY (2005).