Foxy Production is pleased to announce “Sparrow Dust,” the inaugural solo exhibition of Steve Reinke at the gallery. The artist presents his new video, “Father, Limping Through a Field of Clover” (2021), a collection of text-based works on paper, a series of needlepoints, and his video from 2004, “Anthology of American Folk Song.”

“Father, Limping Through a Field of Clover” combines sparse, elliptic statements and humorous, surreal monologues: "There is a building somewhere — Russia, presumably — full of Pavlov’s restless ghost dogs. Just as there is an abandoned apartment in Toronto filled with Glenn Gould’s unused handkerchiefs.” With a soundtrack of remixed, distorted jazz (Roland Kirk) and images from vintage amateur color films (Prelinger Archive), the video seems to ask: Is there a family here, somewhere? Reinke creates, perhaps, a fictional autobiography about social roles and rituals and what disrupts them: nightmarish mishaps, wrong-footed transformations, slow death.

Reinke also presents a series of text-based works in both black ink and colored silkscreen on white paper that appear like absurdist protest signs. Their visual style has an urgency about it, yet they also have an elusive, random quality. Often drily humorous, they are both laconic and allusive.

Reinke’s needlepoints are colorful, semi-abstract grids, sometimes incorporating text. The artist sees them as the results of obsessive actions that spring directly from his subconscious. Rather than abstractions, the works are seen by the artist to resist patterning.

“Anthology of American Folk Song” is a montage of original and found footage that poetically figures the male body as a site of both desire and trauma. Reinke philosophically muses on the ambiguities and ambivalences of surveillance and privacy, of shame and freedom. He posits sexuality as a struggle between life and death, where sexual expression can lead to abjection, pathology, or liberation.

Steve Reinke (Eganville, ON, Canada, 1963) is an artist and writer best known for his monologue-based video essays. He lives and works in Chicago, IL, and holds a BFA from York University, Toronto, ON, and an MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS. Exhibitions include “Butter,” MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (solo)(2020); Welsh Pavilion of the Venice Biennale with James Richards (2017); “Portfolio A / Atheists Need Theology, Too / Semen is the Piss of Dreams / Drawings,” Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL (solo)(2017); “The Genital is Superfluous,” Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany (solo)(2016): and the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2014). His videos have been screened at Sundance Film Festival, Berlinale, International Film Festival Rotterdam, BFI London Film Festival, and the New York Film Festival. His work is in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MACBA, Barcelona; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Photography: Charles Benton.


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