Frieze New York 2015
For Frieze Frame 2015, Jessica Silverman Gallery is pleased to present “It and Another Other,” an installation comprised of a new video and a series of paintings and sculptures by Dashiell Manley. The installation is inspired by George Washington’s “4th Rule of Civility,” which states, “In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming noise; nor drum with your fingers or feet.” Washington wrote 110 rules in a school notebook when he was about sixteen. Although often attributed to him, the maxims were in general circulation in colonial America and originated in sixteenth-century France. They attest to the cultural conservatism of their times. Manley is fascinated by, but ultimately reacts against, such rules.
Much like “The Great Train Robbery,” which was shown at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, Manley’s “It and Another Other” flouts the conventions of painting, sculpture and cinema by contrasting and merging the mediums. As such, the installation effectively proposes an alternative system of civility, one that blurs the boundary between exhibition and storage, art and architecture, propriety and disrespect. Manley insists on humming (in this case, the low hum of the monochrome) and drumming with more than the fingers and feet (heard in the video and alluded to in some of the paintings).
Published seventy years after Washington wrote out the rules, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is another touchstone text for this installation. The dynamic between the fictional inventor Victor Frankenstein and his monster is analogous to the relationship between an artist and his work. Artworks can surprise their maker; they can be unrecognizable, even terrifying; and they can take on a life of their own when they leave the studio. Reflecting on this predicament, Manley posits several means through which artists can regain their mastery – through dissecting analysis, authoritative storytelling, and strategic distraction.
In this exhibition, Manley explores different kinds of artistic and bodily incivility and plays with analogies of artistic creation, forging hybrid forms that suggest many other “others.”
Dashiell Manley (b.1983 Fontana, California) received his BA from CalArts and his MFA from UCLA. His work is in the collections of LACMA and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. He has exhibited in the Whitney and Hammer Biennials as well as in group shows in New York, Sydney, Turin, Vienna, Houston, and Curitiba, Brazil. Earlier this year he had his second solo exhibition with the Jessica Silverman Gallery. Manley lives and works in Los Angeles.