Passages – Walead Beshty

             Walead Beshty – Passages 2009

I keep returning to Beshty’s work as a form of grounding as I research more and contemplate my current and future thoughts I find his work a great reassurance.  I am not sure as to why I feel this way as even though I am an artist there are only a few works that give me this sense.  At present I see this as healthy so until otherwise I will use it as so.

The floor within this exhibition was also covered in strengthened glass similar to the glass used in Beshty’s FedEx boxes.  However here the viewer leaves their mark whilst viewing the work.  The cracks and traces left on the glass change and add to the exhibition over the course of the show.

Here is part of the text from the Frieze article written by Sarah-Neel Smith about Beshty’s solo show at  LA >< ART, March/May 2009.

In the ‘Passages’ (2009) series, nebulous large-scale colour prints confess their trajectory through an airport X-ray machine in the form of blurred lines and hazy irregularities. Echoing the processes of fingerprinting and body scans used in the increasingly politicized zone of the airport, the images are an appreciable evocation of the legislative and ideological transformations of a post- 9/11 world, as felt by every traveller. (The project is an intentional exercise stemming from an earlier accident, when film Beshty had taken of the deserted Iraqi Diplomatic Mission in Berlin was run through X-ray machines during his journey, and later shown at the 2008 Whitney Biennial.) They are also thoroughly charming abstract fields of fading colour: the new systems of corporeal degradation exercized in airports since September 2001, which establish a state of exception as a civic norm, are rendered oddly palatable.


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