Château Shatto is delighted to present Fiona Connor’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, My muse is my memory, an archive of Closed Down Clubs. The exhibition will open on Saturday, March 19, 2022, and remain on view through April 30. My muse is my memory, an archive of Closed Down Clubs aggregates rhythmically, with new works and exhibition takeaways introduced throughout the course of the show.
For over a decade, Fiona Connor has evolved a sculptural language that unsettles objects and environments by reproducing them. Her practice has continually invested in sculpture as a site wherein the formal, social, psychological and discursive properties of objects can be newly animated and observed.
Initialized by Connor five years ago, Closed Down Clubs is an ongoing archive composed of one-to-one reproductions of doors that once stood as the threshold for businesses, venues and community centers. Encountered in situ by Connor, these sites are carefully documented and faithfully re-rendered into the form of autonomous, freestanding sculpture, each of which echo and stand in memoriam to the communities and spaces they replicate, and once gave way to.
Within each of the sculptures that constitute Closed Down Clubs, signs of entropic daily wear, ephemera, and hardware are reverse-engineered by Connor through production methods ranging from printing, casting, waxing, painting and commercial-grade fabrication. This fastidious approach gives way to paradoxical objects – the sculptures of Closed Down Clubs concern themselves with the contradictions of ocularity and materiality, underscoring both the innate possibilities, and limitations, of mimetic operations to invoke the latent spirit and phenomena of a subject.
Organized within the structure of My muse is my memory, an archive of Closed Down Clubs is a premise of objects and articles in circulation. Akin to a lending library, non-present sculptures are accounted for through gaps within the exhibition, referring both to works-in-progress slated for installation during the course of the show, and those which are extant yet absent. Further articles, such as takeaway posters derived from walkthrough transcriptions and exhibition texts, will be introduced within the show on a weekly basis.
By suggestively assuming the form of an active database, repository and institution–unto-itself, My muse is my memory, an archive of Closed Down Clubs takes the generative capacity of an archive and selectively applies it to dispersed objects in civic space. These sculptures that replicate shuttered businesses, and the composite body they assemble in aggregate, contradict the inherent conditions of cessation and finitude that are contained in these commemorating closure. Newly animated by Connor’s reproduction, the doors conversate among themselves, collating disparate psychic, haptic and social histories into a congregation in permanent flux and choral arrangement.
Fiona Connor (b. 1981, Auckland, New Zealand) currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She received a Bachelor Degree from the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand and a Masters of Fine Arts from California Institute for the Arts, Santa Clarita, California. Recent solo exhibitions include Work University, Fine Arts, Sydney, Sydney; Closed for installation, Fiona Connor, SculptureCenter, #4, SculptureCenter, New York; #8, Closed for Installation, Sequence of Events, Secession, Vienna; Closed Down Clubs, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; Object Classrooms, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth. Selected group exhibitions include Daily Nightshift, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp; Celebration of Our Enemies, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; In Plain Sight, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Haunt, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Berman Board, Armory Center for the Arts, Los Angeles; Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Not the Apple but the Fall, 500 Capp Street/David Ireland House, San Francisco.
Connor’s work is included in the following collections: Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University, Wellington; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Chartwell Collection, Auckland; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, Christchurch; Collezione La Gaia, Torino; Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington