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Doug AitkenEND/RUN (timeline)2014Clear mirror, resin, concrete powder coated steel72 x 132 3/4 x 36 inches(182.9 x 337.2 x 91.4 cm)

Doug Aitken
END/RUN (timeline)
2014
Clear mirror, resin, concrete powder coated steel
72 x 132 3/4 x 36 inches
(182.9 x 337.2 x 91.4 cm)
Image Credit: © Doug Aitken.
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Artist Doug Aitken is well-known for throwing his compulsively watchable moving imagery across the fronts of glassy buildings, appropriating institutional space for public enjoyment. His notoriety soared last fall with his epic Nomadic Happening, Station to Station, during which he spent weeks on a specially equipped train traveling from the East to West Coast, stopping at small cities across America to present performances and art. Other big name artists and musicians were on board for some or all of the journey. All that motion, time away from the studio, dealing with the press and his corporate sponsor Levis, led Aitken to demand a halt to his own activities. He wanted to reconsider experience as opposed to being in continuous movement. He realized that the act of not moving might in itself be considered radical.The extremely exciting results of that decision are now on view at Regen Projects through October 11 in a show aptly titled Still Life.

Doug AitkenNOW (Blue Mirror)2014Wood, mirror and glass48 1/4 x 108 1/2 x 18 inches(122.6 x 275.6 x 45.7 cm)

Doug Aitken
NOW (Blue Mirror)
2014
Wood, mirror and glass
48 1/4 x 108 1/2 x 18 inches
(122.6 x 275.6 x 45.7 cm)
Image Credit: © Doug Aitken.
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

As he and his cohort traveled across the country, he couldn’t help but notice signage as a form of vernacular landscape, one with a significant role in American modern art from Edward Hopper to Ed Ruscha. In this show, Aitken presents words on an architectural scale, some layered with mirrors, some as lightboxes, often declarative: Now or Exit.

Doug Aitkentwilight2014Cast resin, acrylic and responsive/generative LED system71 3/4 x 54 1/4 x 54 1/4 inches(182.2 x 137.8 x 137.8 cm)

Doug Aitken
twilight
2014
Cast resin, acrylic and responsive/generative LED system
71 3/4 x 54 1/4 x 54 1/4 inches
(182.2 x 137.8 x 137.8 cm)
Image Credit: © Doug Aitken.
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Aitken altered the gallery by installing white walls with broken edged openings so that you enter a cavern where the words, mounted on the walls, reflect or illuminate the darkened interior. In addition, an actual size sculpture of a pay phone, once a common feature of the roadside restaurant or gas station, was cast by the artist in white resin. It is a ghostly presence that pulses with light as though trying in vain to communicate. In a darkened corridor, cast white stalactites and stalagmites are contained in a vertical box with the sound of dripping water amplifying the eerie atmosphere. Another roadside attraction!

Doug AitkenNATIVE LAND2014Aluminum lightbox, LED lights, chromogenic transparency, acrylic52 x 84 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches(132.1 x 214 x 19.1 cm)

Doug Aitken
NATIVE LAND
2014
Aluminum lightbox, LED lights, chromogenic transparency, acrylic
52 x 84 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches
(132.1 x 214 x 19.1 cm)
Image Credit: © Doug Aitken.
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Using concrete or wood, Aitken has added physical weight to the words or walls, anchoring them, giving them substance to resist our transitory times. The most powerful example of this is a long concrete rectangular box that pierces the entrance wall of the exhibition. One end is cut open with the word End while the other end reads Run. Looking through the open work letters, the inside of the box is lined with mirrors, reflecting what you are seeing. On the opposite wall is a lightbox in the shape of the word, Native Land, composed of the fragmented images of other signs. It is Native Land and all its scrambled words that you see captured within End Run. This is the powerful end of a long run for Aitken. In this exhibition, the despair of late Capitalism meets the romance of the open road as Still Life. For more information, go to regenprojects.com.

Doug AitkenSUN POOL2014Aluminum lightbox, LED lights, chromogenic transparency, acrylic38 x 88 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches(96.5 x 224.8 x 18.7 cm)

Doug Aitken
SUN POOL
2014
Aluminum lightbox, LED lights, chromogenic transparency, acrylic
38 x 88 1/2 x 7 3/8 inches
(96.5 x 224.8 x 18.7 cm)
Image Credit: © Doug Aitken.
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

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