»Just 'Cos Always«
Sadie Benning, Rochelle Feinstein, Eric Sidner
03.05.–05.07.2014 | Opening 02.05.2014, 6–9 pm

»Just ‘Cos Always« brings together the work of three artists who deploy different media – video, installation, collage and painting – to address social codes, intimate utterances and vernacular associations within the daily flux of information. Inherent to all works is a parenthetic use of material and a flirtation with the absurd. While some of the works presented in the exhibition evolve around personal narratives, others refer to mythologies of popular culture and socio-political concerns, in quest of implications of the present on either the private or the public sphere.

A painter’s painter, Rochelle Feinstein has been dazzling viewers for more than three decades by combining text, abstraction, found images and collage into a wild variety of styles, shrugging off the pressure to conform to a signature look. Her downright timely and versatile work weaves together social commentary with an expansive painting lexicon, interrogating modernism through the palpable framework of her own lived experience. Feinstein has a spot-on sense for some of the weirder narratives of popular culture, an uncanny ability to find resonant and scalable visual metaphors – images that seem to effortlessly expand and contract between the personal and the political. The works on view in the exhibition, »The Abramovic Method« (2012–2013) and »Today in History« (2013), are part of »The Enigma Project«, a series Feinstein has been working on over the past years. Feinstein’s Enigma paintings are a reflection on the accumulation of knowledge, aiming to unscramble a pervasive, often perplexing lexicon of social phenomena and pervasive parlances and transcode them into visual form.

Texan-born artist Eric Sidner draws the viewer into an eclectic and similarly challenging pool of codes and narratives, which roam at the segue of the digital and physical, the artificial and humane. His sculptures, giant collages and installations come with a voluptuous materiality, which references popular culture and its vast accessibility through internet and other media. »Car bag« is one of Sidner’s disquieting hybrids which could as well stem from the setting of a sci-fi comic strip - humankind caught within the waste products of civilisation. Implicit to Sidner’s installations is an idiosyncratic language, which captures the feeling of information saturation, leaving the viewer in a state of excessive demand when confronted with an equally seductive and repellent material narration, one that alienates and haunts at the same time.

»Living Inside«, one of Sadie Benning’s early video works, confronts us with an introspective view on social realities and existential meaning. Filmed at the age of 16 with a Fisher-Price toy camera, Benning combines scrawled and handwritten text from diary entries to record thoughts and images that reveal the longings and complexities of a developing identity. Evoking in turn playful seduction and painful honesty, Benning’s floating, close-up camera functions as a witness to her intimate revelations, and as an accomplice in defining her evocative experimental form. The partly humorous, partly tragic exasperation in Benning’s recorded phrases of spoken word and moving image draw a psychogram of identity, solitude and adolescent culture, one that paraphrasically translates into Rochelle Feinstein’s painting »The Last Place I’d Like to Be«.

Sadie Benning (b. 1973 in Madison, Wisconsin) lives and works in New York. Benning received an MFA. from Bard College where she is currently co-chair of the film and video department. She is a former member and cofounder of the music group Le Tigre. Benning’s work had been exhibited internationally since 1990 and is in many permanent collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, The Fogg Art Musuem, and the Walker Art Center. Recent exhibitions include Readykeulous by Ridykeulous: This is What Liberation Feels Like, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, MO (2014); NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, New Museum; Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, Kunstmuseum Basel; and Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA (all 2013); and has been included in: Annual Report: 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); Whitney Biennial (2000 and 1993); American Century, Whitney Museum of Modern Art (2000); and the Venice Biennale (1993). Solo exhibitions include Participant, INC., Wexner Center for the Arts, Orchard Gallery, Dia: Chelsea and The Power Plant. Sadie Benning’s early video works are distributed by Video Data Bank, Chicago.

Eric Sidner (b. 1985, Houston) lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, Städelschule, Frankfurt/M and de Ateliers, Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions include Eric Sidner & Taocheng Wang, The Duck, Berlin (two-person, 2014); Eggshell Skull, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö (solo, 2013); Until He Says Goodbye, Curl up and Dye, Vienna, Austria
 (2011); You know?, Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco (group, 2012) and Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt/M (group, 2010).

Rochelle Feinstein (b. 1947, New York) lives and works in New York. She received a BFA from Pratt Institute in 1975 and an MFA from the University of Minnesota in 1978. Feinstein was appointed to the Yale University/School of Art faculty in 1994, where she is currently professor and Director of Graduate Studies of painting and printmaking. Her work is on view in this year’s Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and she is currently showcasing her solo exhibition »Love Vibe« at On Stellar Rays, where she had previous solo exhibitions in 2013 and 2011. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Rochelle Feinstein, Higher Pictures, New York, NY (2013); I Made a Terrible Mistake, LAB Space/Art Production Fund, New York, NY (2009); Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY (2008); and Rochelle Feinstein, The Suburban, Chicago, IL (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Poor Working Conditions, Martos Gallery New York, and Reliable Tension, Yale School of Art, New Haven (both 2014). Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, will be dedicating a retrospective exhibition to Rochelle Feinstein in summer 2015.