Maureen Paley is pleased to present the gallery’s first solo exhibition of new work by Banks Violette.
“The show will be constructed around the way the gallery is divided – a performance downstairs, and a re-construction of that performance upstairs.
The performance will consist of Stephen O’Malley and his band sunnO))) playing on stages, with the focus involving a singer named Attila Csihar in a sealed coffin, on vocals throughout. This will be intended as a frustrated viewing experience for the audience – in some way to have the performance be something that the audience may not be allowed to view. At the end of the piece, the musical equipment is removed, leaving only the stage, backdrop, and a ruined coffin in the downstairs gallery.
In the upstairs space, every piece of equipment used for the performance will be recast in salt essentially, the upstairs will be a ghostly, elegiac reconstruction of the downstairs performed work – the only “evidence “or documentation of what the audience was blocked from seeing downstairs.
In addition, there will be a series of drawings that will be used in a later vinyl release of the performance, so even the drawings will be an imperfect record, as they’re ultimately intended as an “illustration”, or rather something whose real life only exists as a reproduction.
In essence, the work and performance both combine to produce a series of oppositional/binary terms: black/white/, upstairs/downstairs, presence/absence, but those binaries revolve slowly around the central gesture of a performer “animating “a middle position at the heart of those contrasts.”
Banks Violette: Untitled was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2005. In 2006 he was included in Youth of Today, at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, While Interwoven Echoes Drip into a Hybrid Body at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich and DARK at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam. He has also participated in Greater New York, P.S.1, New York, 2005 as well as the Whitney Biennial, 2004.