Michael Joaquin Grey

June 28–September 21, 2009

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents a solo presentation by Michael Joaquin Grey, an artist whose work has bridged the boundaries between art, science, media, and the imagination for the last twenty years. His interdisciplinary practice revolves around the development and origins of life and language, as well as morphology. The self organizing principles of living and nonliving things, from muscle cells up to cultural phenomena, are among the diverse concerns that Grey's work examines. Featuring wall vinyl, computational videos, sculptures, and prints, the exhibition investigates critical moments in natural phenomena and culture with a nearly scientific eye, all the while testing the very limits and boundaries of the tools required in such study.

On view in P.S.1's first floor Drawing Gallery are works that thematically demonstrate the artist's interest in the development of language, living things, and strategic organic systems. Many works relate to the principles of growth and transformation, as seen in Object as preposition (1988-2007) which visualizes how throughout art history the object became part of a performative process in relational aesthetics. Body signals are a recurrent theme; the human heartbeat is used in Perpetual ZOOZ (2005-09), as well as the artist's own biological material in Artificial Muscle (1983-2001), where a sample of Grey's muscle cells is used to create a contracting mass in a test tube.

The computational cinematic projection Perpetual ZOOZ is the primary work in the exhibition, which incorporates two versions of The Wizard of Oz. One version of the movie plays in time with his mother's heartbeat and the other plays in reverse, in accordance with Grey's heart. The projection is designed in a way that both versions of the movie are presented in a sculptural form, like two sides of a spinning coin.

Michael Joaquin Grey (b. Los Angeles, CA, 1961) lives and works in San Francisco and New York. He has had solo shows at Fringe Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2007), bitforms gallery, New York (2006), Kunsthalle Loppem, Belgium (1995), Lisson Gallery, London (1994), Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York (1991, 1993 and 1994) and has been included in group exhibitions such as Illiterature, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica (2009), Beneath the Underdog, Gagosian Gallery, New York (2007), CUT/FILM Film as Found Object in Contemporary Video, MOCA, North Miami (2004), Public Offerings, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2001), 1993 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1993).

Michael Joaquin Grey is organized by Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Chief Curatorial Advisor, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.


  • Michael Joaquin Grey

    Installation view at P.S.1, 2009

    Photo: John Berens. Courtesy bitforms gallery nyc

  • Michael Joaquin Grey

    Installation view at P.S.1, 2009

    Photo: John Berens. Courtesy bitforms gallery nyc

  • Michael Joaquin Grey

    Perpetual ZOOZ (Madonna and Child), 2005-2009
    Audio: heartbeat (mother and son)
    computational cinema with stereo sound
    computer, projector, speakers
    dimensions variable
    Four screen stills
    Photo:Courtesy bitforms gallery nyc

 

Special thanks to bitforms gallery.