JOHANNA BREIDING: EPITAPH FOR FAMILY 

Image: Johanna Breiding in collaboration with Jennifer Moon and Cary Cronenwett, Andrea, film still, 2015.

Opening reception: Sunday, June 28, 2015

Gallery hours: Thu-Sun 12-6pm

Exhibition: June 28-July 19, 2015

Events staged during this exhibition include:

FRI JULY 3: Your Motion Says: Dance to Arthur Russell: Christopher Argodale, Shade Theret, Peter Hernandez, Eydie Mcconnell & Nika Kolodziej, Tatiana Lubovski-Acosta, and Emily Jane Rosen 9PM FB

TUE JULY 7: tir talk (1): conversation with Johanna Breiding, Jennifer Moon and Tyler Matthew Oyer; screening of She Male Snails. 7PM FB

FRI JULY 10: HRLA Volunteer drop-in session — come by and learn about getting involved with HRLA. 5-7PM

SAT JULY 18: Music and Visuals: Bulbs, Peter Kolovos, Zeek Scheck 8PM

SUN JULY 19: Interview with Johanna Breiding and Jennifer Moon at KCHUNG Radio 1630AM 6-8PM

Epitaph for Family is a multi-media project exploring love, intimacy, loss, and queer family-making through the image and connotations of the horizon line. 

Drawing distinction between that which is distant and within reach, the horizon line serves as an orientational tool that locates one at home. It determines space by assuming a linear perspective and a single, stable spectator, defining notions of time, place, and the subject.

Extending a line from the metaphor of the horizon to the idea (and ideal) of family, Epitaph for Family explores the way in which family serves as a locator, as the primary introduction to community, and an orienting device that shapes one’s relationship to gender, race, class, and intimacy. As a pre-determined structure, family becomes practical, prescribing a socioeconomic and political agenda towards heteronormativity and legibility.

The project turns toward the notion of queer family-making to examine various constructions of family, as well as the desires, needs, and ideologies that influence family-making and relationships. It questions the difference between, and sameness within, queer and heteronormative family structures, and how these constructs define the individual and community. If one’s position in the world is determined by their inhabitance in space, can one find place on unstable ground? Through formal connections, disruption and repetitive acts, the project aims to destabilize the notion of family as a reachable end, skewing the centrality of this ideal through rearticulation and refusal.

Epitaph for Family consists of a major installation of 16mm film projections of the horizon line at the Pacific Coast, suspending the viewer within the blue hour (l’heure bleu) before sunrise and after sunset; and a multichannel video depicting queer-identified individuals discussing their experiences of family and love (connecting the horizon line to the dinner table). Participants include: Dean Spade, Calvin Burnap, Rachel Carns, Darius Morrison, taisha paggett, Julie Tolentino, Samuel White, Don Romesburg, and Asha Romesburg.

The exhibition also includes a series of traditionally constructed still-life photographs that reconsider the dinner table’s role as a space of representation, exchanging familiar objects with their deviant others (butter becomes Cristo, an hour glass loses its sand); and an archival film essay of home footage reflecting on memory, loss and belonging, made in collaboration with Jennifer Moon (Jennifer Moon & The Revolution) and Cary Cronenwett (director of Maggots and Men and Piece of Mind); and a 35mm photographic slide projection of objects and people positioned between the photographer and the offing, piercing through the horizon.

The project also includes commissioned texts by Maggie Nelson, Malene Dam, and Don Romesburg, and an exhibition catalogue designed by Bullhorn Press.

*Further programs to be listed shortly.*

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Johanna Breiding’s practice stems from photography, considering the medium’s history, its representational role and limits. Expanding to video and installation, Breiding locates her work within the intersection of analog and digital technologies, the construction of gender and cultural identity, and a critique of heteronormative ideologies within the personal and social space. Recent projects address a range of topics, including the death of analog photography via small town Keeler in Owens Valley, CA; the art historical canon of Land Art through portraiture and landscape photography; and the notion of hyperobjects and the (Post­) Anthropocene. Breiding currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in New Genres at San Francisco Art Institute, and junior high art workshops through Urban Arts in South Central, LA. She is based in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and originally from Switzerland.