DANIEL LONG // a peanut in a suit is a peanut nonetheless
On view August 5–September 14, 2015
Opening reception Sunday, August 9 (2–5 p.m.)
Despite our longstanding belief in the immutability of history, the chronicle of time is, at its core, a construction. We respect, for example, the history textbook as an absolute—the lineage of important dates, the tidy causes and effects of mankind’s various foibles, the endless exchanges of power. However, that same textbook, that survey of chosen events, names, and isms, is a selection, a subjective highlighting of the past. Any archive, whether in the form of a book, a museum, or a Google search result, offers, in this manner, a mere translation of what will forever remain an unexplainable existence. In the studio however, the artist may both critique and manipulate this actuality.
For the series of work on view in his first solo exhibition at Nationale, A Peanut in a Suit Is a Peanut Nonetheless, Daniel Long appropriates both common painting techniques and visual symbols into an open-ended rumination on representation and narrative. The ensuing world—populated by scenes of largely ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman pottery floating amidst textured backdrops and hieroglyphic serpents, disguised as MS Paint squiggles, attempting to pop off the surface plane—is a rabbit hole wherein visual references constantly collide and combust. Yanked in this way from their historical foundations, Long’s collaged appropriations transform easily into his specific revision of history. The artist in effect creates his own mythology.
Daniel Long received his MFA from the Visual Studies Program at Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2013. His work has been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Modern Art, Portland, OR; ALL RISE, Seattle, WA; Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR; Power House Memphis, Memphis, TN; and The Outside Museum curated by PMOMA and Thousand Points of Light in Joshua Tree, CA. He was recently awarded a 2015 Fall Fellowship with The Lighthouse Works in Fishers Island, NY. Born in Memphis, TN, Long currently lives and works in Portland, OR.
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