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22 March 2010, 3:30 pm No Comments

Los Angeles: David Levine at Francois Ghebaly Gallery

This post was submitted by Calvin

Event Details: David Levine at Francois Ghebaly Gallery - :

David Levine at Francois Ghebaly Gallery

Upon entering “Hopeful,” an installation by New York-born and Berlin-based artist David Levine, one is confronted by how tragic the reality can be for those in the entertainment industry. The gallery walls are crowded with carefully arranged headshots, letters and profiles of struggling actors searching for representation.

An actor spends thousands on the acting classes, the professional (or not so much) portraits and the expenses incurred by moving to Los Angeles (or New York), and what becomes of his or her efforts? Levine discovered the presented ephemera by culling through agency garbage bins, cataloged the material and repurposed it to speak volumes about aspiration and how easily one’s hope can be proven futile.

While the installation seduces through the hundreds of portraits of struggling actors – most are attractive and dreamy, perfect boyfriend/girlfriend material – and puts into play the viewers own voyeuristic desires, the arrangement is more powerful as an indictment of the disposable nature of cultural capital.

On one level, the use value of what is, at this point, essentially garbage is reverted to the world of art where a new value is added. Not only are products thrown out when something ‘new and improved’ comes around, but identity and personal agency account for very little in this machinery. It is a powerful show and  should be required viewing for those hopeful, fresh-faced Mid-Westerners getting off the train just down the street.

510 Bernard St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Continues through April 25th

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