Hannah Whitaker: Cold Wave, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

Hannah Whitaker: Cold Wave, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles

Cold Wave is Hannah Whitaker’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition will run at the M+B Gallery from 15 March 26 April, with a special opening reception on 15 March, 6-8pm. This show of Whitaker’s artwork displays her interest in the Austrian logician Kurt Gödel who introduced the notion of unknowability to mathematics. His ideas in the field problematised early 20th century philosophical claims to truth and knowledge.

For this exhibition, the photographed subjects are covered using the intervention of hand cut paper screens. Often Whitaker found herself layering as many as fifteen in a single image; at times shooting through the screens and at others, using them to deform an image selectively after it is shot. The pieces established repetitious subjects that occur both within a single image and across many of her photographs.

These clever camera processes allow her to combine various moments in time and space into a single piece of film. The resulting photographs are suspended between different and multiple dualities: the handmade, the technical, the geometric, the photographic, the flat and the dimensional, and – in the theories of Rosalind Krauss – the anti-real and the real. Whitaker’s interest in Gödel led her to think of the film plane as a formal system; a set of restricted variables and operations.

In a series of photos called Cutouts Whitaker photographed the paper slivers left behind after cutting her paper screens, which she arranged on coloured paper backgrounds that reappear in different forms in other photographs. This small link establishes material linkages across multiple works. While Whitaker’s work contains abstract elements, her subjects can be thought of as depictive in their familiarity: winter landscapes, women and still life of everyday objects.

The artist’s patterns employ illusory logic that is undermined by the messiness of photographic depiction, the imperfections of the paper itself and occasionally the patterns refusal to adhere completely to its own rule.

Cold Wave, 15 March 26 April, M+B Gallery, Los Angeles. For more information visit www.mbart.com.

1. Hannah Whitaker, Arctic Landscape (Pink Sky), 2014. Courtesy of the artist and M+B Gallery.