Opening Reception: December 16th 2011, 6-9pm
Julien Bismuth’s second exhibition at The Box consists of three distinct new works. The first is a video, The Golden Ass, shot by the artist at the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in Tehachapi, California and at the Wild Burro Rescue in Olancha, California, both sanctuaries for the increasingly endangered feral donkey population. Rather than a documentation of these animals or their situation, the video is a sequence of discrete encounters with the animals and their caretakers, each shot the consequence of a simple gesture of placement of the camera.
The second piece in the exhibition is a series of paint works, Untitled (Dun Works). Each piece from this series starts with a color that was incorrectly mixed, returned and then purchased by the artist from the discount rack of a paint store. Like all mistakes and errors, these tints are unique and all but impossible to repeat or replicate. Each container of paint comes with a canvas. When the piece is first installed, the canvas is hung on the wall, and painted, along with wall, with its companion color. If the canvas is reinstalled elsewhere, the wall on which it will be hung has to be painted in its color, which has to be matched as precisely as possible. 
The third and final work, Sum thing, consists of five objects: a video, a photograph, a text, an object, and a soundtrack. Throughout the course of the exhibition, these five objects will be installed in five different installations, each exhibited for an equal length of time. Each installation will be differentiated by means of a simple action enacted on one or more of the objects (turning the sound on or off, turning the video on or off, turning the lights on or off, breaking the object, etc…). The first installation will run from the 16th to the 18th of December, the second from January 5th to the 8th, the third from 12th to the 15th, the fourth from the 19th to the 22nd, and the fifth and last from the 26th to the 29th.
These three works, though seemingly unrelated in form and content, gravitate around a common thread or concern. They are works about “things,” and about the ways in which we name, relate, interact, manufacture, manipulate, and generally make sense of what we call “things.” These works, each in their own way, are a way of responding to a specific thing (a misfit species, a muddled color, a set of disparate elements held together by the volutes of a thought process) by means of a simple gesture, one that seeks to accentuate rather than placate their inherent incongruity and displacement with regards to the logic which surrounds them. 
Julien Bismuth is an artist born in Paris, France (1973) who lives and works in New York. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include “The error in the landscape,” a Bloomberg COMMA project currently on view at Bloomberg Space, London, a solo exhibition at the CRAC Alsace in Altkirch, France earlier this year, and an upcoming solo exhibition at the GAK in Bremen. His work has also been exhibited at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Kunsthalle Wien, the Tate Modern, the Fondation Ricard, and at the Institut d’Art Contemporain in Lyon. He is represented by the Box in Los Angeles, Galerie Georges-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois in Paris, Galerie Parisa Kind in Frankfurt, and Layr Wuestenhagen in Vienna.
Mar 12 2011link
Julien Bismuth: The Golden Ass
By Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Issue 48, March 2011