"Pfeiffer's works address how the image of the human being has been transformed by new digital technologies, which can be used both to store limitless amounts of visual information and to manipulate pre-existing images."
– Hilarie M. Sheets
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to present "Pirate Jenny," an exhibition by Paul Pfeiffer featuring five new video works, a sculptural installation and monumental photographs from the series, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." This exhibition is shown in collaboration with The Project, and will feature new work at both galleries simultaneously.
The cornerstone of the exhibition is "Empire," a video documenting the three-month development and life cycle of a wasp nest. Presented in real time, "Empire" is a perfect example of a recent elaboration in Pfeiffer's work: the expanded use of original footage. In the case of "Empire," this technique allows the artist to comment on the analogies between the structure of our society and the process of the queen building her nest, laying her eggs and becoming the matriarch of her community.
Another highlight of the exhibition will be the nine most recent "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" photographs. In this series, as in many of Pfeiffer's most famous video works, the artist utilizes a reductive take on appropriation, meticulously editing found images of basketball players until a central figure is left isolated against the backdrop of the audience, frozen in a sublime moment of ambiguity.
Pfeiffer's work often employs digital editing to address the question of the real, and of historical visibility or invisibility within the image. Referring to his video work as "video sculptures," Pfeiffer merges mediums and approaches, assimilating found footage and images from pop culture to create something decidedly twenty-first century. Much of Pfeiffer's work explores the relations between race, religion, commerce, art and philosophy.
This collaborative venture between the two galleries affords Pfeiffer the opportunity for his largest and most ambitious one person exhibition since his traveling retrospective in 2003, which originated at the MIT List Visual Arts Center and went on to the MCA in Chicago.
Paul Pfeiffer was born in Honolulu in 1966, but currently lives and works in New York City. He has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, an MFA from Hunter College in New York and participated at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. His solo exhibitions include: The Barbican Art Centre in London (2003), The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2002), and The UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (2001). He was awarded the Whitney Museum's Bucksbaum Award in 2000.