It Could Be Elvis

Artist: Louise Lawler
installation | tracing | 2540x3124mm | 1994

Louise Lawler’s work offers a reflection on the perception and institutional framework of contemporary art. Over the last 30 years, Lawler has been making photographs that depict views of artworks installed in museums, homes of private collectors, gallery storage spaces, or auction houses. Our attention is turned from the artwork itself to its environment, and to the framing devices and modes of distribution that affect the works’ reception. Traced directly from her own photographs, and made in collaboration with illustrator John Buller, the black lines are executed in vinyl and directly applied to the wall. Each tracing exists as an adaptable digital file that can be printed in any size. Thus, a “tracing” takes material form only when exhibited, and can be destroyed and remade into different scales for different spaces. “Lawler trains her attention on the rituals of the art world, implying that militarism runs through them like a steady line, smoothly connecting the dots. At the same time, her art reveals another trend of militarism, which is the colonization of daily life, the relentless intrusion of state violence into our so-called private lives. To expose the ruse of militarism, Lawler suggests, we must open our eyes to its most intimate and most insidious effects.”– Mignon Nixon


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)