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Hammer Presents Exhibition of Work by Los Angeles-Based Artist Shannon Ebner
Shannon Ebner. Incendiary Distress Signal No. 6, 2011. Type-C print. 31.5 x 21 in. (80 x 53.3 cm). Courtesy the artist; Wallspace, New York; Altman Siegel, San Francisco; and kaufmann repetto, Milan.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner’s work investigates the correlations between photography and language. Informed by various modes of writing—including poetry, experimental writing, and political speech—Ebner constructs images in the studio and the landscape. She builds letters and phrases out of vernacular materials such as cardboard, wood, and cinder blocks, calling attention to the ways language and imagery are constructed. The exhibition is on display from July 16, 2011 until October 9, 2011.

For her Hammer Project, she exhibits a portion of an on-going project called “The Electric Comma,” which began as a poem she wrote of the same name about various conditions of the photographic, such as its alleged static nature and its vocation of describing events of the past. The poem, or as Ebner refers to it, “the photographic sentence,” seeks to enliven the image by subjecting it to various challenges that ask the photograph to perform outside its usual function of reporting or depicting events, people, places, and things of our time.

In addition to the presentation at the Hammer, works from “The Electric Comma” are simultaneously on display at LAXART in Culver City and in Venice, Italy as part of the 54th Venice Biennale. Portions of “The Electric Comma” have been made into works that are exhibited in all three locations. At the Hammer, Ebner presents two multi-panel large photographic works in Gallery 6 on the courtyard level, and the project continues outside the gallery with a new piece made specifically for the light boxes leading to the Billy Wilder Theater.

The light box work spell out the word “asterisk,” an element of language and design that has long been featured in the artist’s work, and the boxes will be on a timed lighting sequence so that particular letters and groupings of letters will continuously flash, suggestive of a signal or mechanism for sending and receiving information. In addition to photographs and a video on view at LAXART, Ebner presents an outdoor sculpture in an empty lot in Culver City. An 8-foot tall plywood ampersand titled ‘and, per se and,’ Ebner considers the form and meaning of the ampersand to signify the continual construction and/or incompleteness of meaning between the various aspects of the project and their diverse locations.

Shannon Ebner was born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1971 and lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned her BA from Bard College in 1993 and her MFA from Yale University in 2000 and she currently teaches at USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. This is Ebner’s first museum solo show on the West Coast.





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