Civilian Art Projects is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of artist Ryan Hill. In “SuperFacial,” Hill continues his process of exploring the contemporary cultural imagination through found images and word associations. In addition to works on paper, he further indulges his curiosity and welcomes the viewer into his imagination by exhibiting a related wall collage of ephemera, photographs, drawings and textworks, and a video collaboration with DC area experimental filmmaker Rob Parrish. An essay by Ian Svenonius will accompany the exhibition.
The works on paper found in “SuperFacial” play with ideas of the spectacular, glamour, and faciality. Drawings based on images of spa treatments, facebook profiles, fashion magazines, and entertainment websites ask the questions “how do we look at faces?”, “what happens when we don’t recognize something as a face?” and “what do faces mean to us?” The drawings are based on subtracting the original context from the found images. They are drawn, masked, and sprayed with ink before adding the final details. Other drawings are plainly rendered in color pencil and meant to be in dialogue with each other as part of a larger installation.
Hill was initially inspired to make this series after attending a friend's wedding reception at a New Orleans mansion on Halloween eve. Guests were asked to wear masks. Since he couldn’t read the social cues given while speaking or reacting to speech, the artist found interacting with the masked guests confusing and exciting. He felt this accidental social experiment gave both a sense of glamour and invisibility, allowing one’s disguised face to be read in unfamiliar ways.
For “SuperFacial,” Hill finds parallels to this process of masquerade on social networking sights, celebrity discussion forums, and even in how the public interpretation of art is a private act done in public. Hill views his works and installation as both artworks and documentation of his thematic explorations.
According to the artist, “I think about the gallery as a theatrical space in the disguise of a 'gallery show.' I try to include multiple voices and images, so that I represent many sides of a personality or many takes on an idea. I am not interested in concluding meaning. I'm interested in generating multiple responses, and sometimes that creates confusion. I like to think of it as creative confusion. I am fully confident that viewers will make the meaning themselves. Or better yet, suspend meaning until it’s a pleasurable ache. That’s what makes it fun.”
Ryan Hill is a Los Angeles born, Washington, DC based artist who also writes and performs. He earned a Master’s degree in studio art from the California Institute of the Arts and a Master’s degree in film and television from University of California. His drawing installations have been shown in Los Angeles, CA, New York City, NY, Washington, DC, and Melbourne, Australia. He has performed at colleges and art spaces including the L.A. County Museum of Art and LAX><ART in Los Angeles, White Box Gallery in New York, and Sculpture Center in Long Island NY, and P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in Long Island City, NY. Hill currently teaches drawing and painting courses at George Washington University, serves on the Board of Directors for the arts organization Transformer in Washington, DC, and organizes public education programs and at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden.
Rob Parrish and and Ryan Hill's collaboration was focused on the exhibition's themes of the spectacle, glamour and faciality. Clips from Japanese television, Busby Berkeley's "Gold Diggers of 1933,"and other found footage have been combined with live footage. The film is six minutes long and looped with a soundtrack that uses music by Kid and Khan, a Berlin-based electronic duo.
Rob Parrish, a Baltimore, Maryland native, is an Arlington, VA based video artist and filmmaker. The focus of Rob’s work over the last several years has been his two video blogs (hoppervideo.net and nexttoheaven.net). Rob’s work has been shown at The Baltimore Museum of Art, Curator’s Office (Washington, DC), The Washington Project for the Arts (DC), The Pioneer Theatre (NYC), DC Shorts (DC), Pixelodeon at the American Film Institute (Los Angeles, CA), The DC Independent Film Festival (DC), and Artscape (Baltimore, MD). Rob has won three Rosebud Awards given for filmmaking excellence in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area and won the grand prize at New Tee Vee's "Love" Pier Screening.
Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 7-9pm
Civilian Art Projects is pleased to present the second solo exhibition of artist Ryan Hill. In “SuperFacial,” Hill continues his process of exploring the contemporary cultural imagination through found images and word associations, welcoming the viewer into his imagination by exhibiting a related wall collage of ephemera, photographs, drawings and textworks, and a video collaboration with DC area experimental filmmaker Rob Parrish.