- Opening Reception: March 17th 2012, 6-9 pm
For the second show in its new location, The Box is proud to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of the work of Leigh Ledare.
Displayed inside a 20’ x 40’ room constructed within the main gallery of The Box, Ledare will present the work Double Bind (2010). For Double Bind, Ledare went alone to a country house with his recently remarried ex-wife, photographing her over the course of three nights. Two months after this initial trip (upon Ledare’s initiative and funded by the artist), his ex-wife returned to the same location with her current husband. During this second trip, her current husband, the photographer Adam Fedderly, documented her in the same settings for three days, having agreed in advance that he would give his unprocessed film to Ledare. This resulted in two archives of photographs – roughly 1,000 images, printed by Ledare and presented in their entirety within the show. These photographs of Meghan Ledare-Fedderly (taken from the position of the newlywed and that of the formerly married couple) in dialog compose the structural core of the project. Combined with materials from a third archive of found ephemera these form a series of diptychs, attributed alternately to Ledare and Fedderly. The printed materials, including pages torn from advertising and media, as well as personal ephemera, serve as models of broader social interaction, both reifying and interpreting the individual’s experience. Lastly, three corresponding vitrines within the installation present the remaining surplus of unused materials from the 3 archives.
In the project Personal Commissions (2008), Ledare contacted women who had placed advertisements in the “Personals” section of various newspapers in New York City. These advertisements – self-descriptions ostensibly used by the individuals as a vehicle through which to obtain companionship – did little more than thinly disguise an ambivalent set of gendered commodity relations, offering up the subject in exchange for financial compensation. Rather than performing sexual activities with these women, and rather than revealing their anonymity through taking their photographs, Ledare paid each subject their expected fee as a commission to direct a photograph of him however they desired to see him portrayed. Ledare sees these as portraits; however not of himself. Seen within the limitations of the existing social framework, each of these individuals portray themselves indirectly, as seen through the original self-description of their personal advertisement (in each instance appropriated as the title of the work), their agency in directing Ledare, and through the affects of their personal residences.
In addition to these two series Ledare will also be showing a number of videos and text works relating to an earlier project that chronicled his complex and unusually intimate relationship with his mother. Although largely absent within the show, this earlier project serves as an index through which his subsequent works unfold.
Ledare was born in 1976 in Seattle and currently lives in New York. Ledare is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. He received an MFA from Columbia University in 2008. He has taught at Columbia University, New York City, and at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles. Slated to be the subject of a large scale solo survey at WIELS, Brussels, in September 2012, Ledare has also shown at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, the Swiss Institute, New York, MoMA/PS1, New York, Les Rencontres d’Arles, France, and the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow. His artist’s book ‘Pretend You’re Actually Alive’ was published in 2008 by PPP Editions, in collaboration with Andrew Roth. In September 2012 his artist book ‘Double Bind’ will be published by Michele Didier, Brussels.