artist / participant

press release

1301PE is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Fiona Connor. Working at the intersection of architecture, sculpture, and installation, Fiona Connor encourages us to reflect on physical surroundings by re-contextualizing objects and creating disruptions in the built environment. Her painstakingly fabricated replicas of everyday objects function both as sculpture to be perceived, and as stage pieces through which we can enact our own narratives.

Connor has often focused on the institutional space of the gallery or museum, engaging with the overlooked framework upon which art resides. In 2009 she replicated the façade of Michael Lett's gallery inside the gallery space, not once but fourteen times, literally putting the gallery on display. For What you bring with you to work (2010), she cut holes in the museum walls, placed window frames over the holes, and let us peer behind the scenes. These were not generic windows, however, but facsimiles of the bedroom windows of individual gallery attendants. More than simply institutional critique, this work offered an intimate look into the lives of others.

Her contribution to Made in L.A. 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial, was a replica of the first few steps of the Hammer Museum's marble staircase, placed across the lobby by the front windows. Titled Lobbies on Wilshire, her precise reproduction functioned as both mimetic sculpture and interactive environment.

"I am interested in laying one scripted space over another to explore the way art is approached and our boundaries of engagement, abandonment and empathy." – Fiona Connor

For Bare Use, Connor looks to the restorative oasis of the spa, fastidiously re-fabricating the typical objects that characterize this environment – water fountain, towel case, signs. She introduces these specific items to the gallery, investigating what happens when the elements of one specialized space collide with another. Her sculptures operate on both aesthetic and performative levels: they are works of art based on functional objects, and functional objects themselves, dislocated from their origins.

Fiona Connor was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lives and works in Los Angeles. She was included in the first Los Angeles biennial, Made in L.A. 2012 at the Hammer Museum, and her 2010 solo show Murals and Print was the inaugural exhibition at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA. Recent group exhibitions include Gap, Mark, Sever and Return, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA; Concrete Situations, Pact, Essen, Germany; Experimental Impulse, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; You Are Here, Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand; and Octopus 8, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia. In 2010 she was a finalist for New Zealand's most prestigious contemporary art award, the Walters Prize.

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Fiona Connor
Bare Use