The Bruce High Quality Foundation
The Raft of the Medusa / Le Radeau de la Méduse
22 September – 30 November 2012
Opening: 21 September 2012, 6-8 pm in the presence of the artist
Galerie Bruno Bischofberger and Vito Schnabel are pleased to announce an exhibition
of new works by The Bruce High Quality Foundation, "The Raft of the Medusa /
Le Radeau de la Méduse."
The Raft of the Medusa / Le Radeau de la Méduse is a new series within the larger body
of the Foundation's work, History Paintings. These works recast early photographs made
by the Foundation – images created through a highly unstructured, playful,
collaborative model – through a Warholian factory model of gridded silkscreen on hand
painted color fields.
Raft of the Medusa is a 2004 photograph by the Foundation depicting a group of young
anonymous artists on a makeshift raft in the East River. Either setting sail to Manhattan or
landing in Brooklyn, the image, according to critic Maxwell Heller, "revel(s) in that
moment on the limns," when the Foundation was first gaining recognition.
Le Radeau de la Méduse is an 1818-1819 painting by Théodore Géricault depicting the
abandoned survivors of the wreck of the naval frigate Méduse. At the top right of the
painting is the distant brig Argus, which would eventually save fifteen passengers. But on
the left hand side of the canvas a wave threatens to end it all. Géricault's timely political
theme and bold depiction of death earned him wide recognition.
In this new series, these two images have been converted into silkscreens and
sequenced in an alternating pattern. The Foundation thus collapses several models of
collaborative practice: the survivalist anarchism of the original raft, the playful
anarchism of their own practice, and the ironic factory of Warhol.
Also on view is Hell Freezes Over, a work made of a refrigerator, dolly, and television with
video loop. The loop sequences found footage to deconstruct the notion of
preservation as both a human instinct and museological mandate. Conceived as part
of The Bruce High Quality Foundation’s on-going body of “Portable Museums," Hell
Freezes Over functions as a retaliatory metaphor of museographic responsibility.