A preoccupation with home decoration and refurnishment is apparent in Cars and Houses, by San Francisco artist Harrell Fletcher, an artist who has shown extensively over the last 10 years throughout the US. Much of his practice has explored the dynamics of social spaces and communities, often working collaboratively, and with an emphasis on working literally 'site specifically' in a city, reflecting the particularity of the place and the people who live there. Reminding us that there are cultures and experiences just outside the tiny individualized spheres of interest each of us inhabit, Fletcher' work stands as sly reminder of the way history is conventionally constructed, with an emphasis on 'big' events and 'important' moments.
Over the last year Physics Room staff have sent Harrell a variety of free real estate literature from Christchurch, the sort of glossy brochures commonly found in letterboxes and rubbish bins all over the city. From these glimpses of local housing and culture he has produced tiny, exquisite versions, refigured into drawing, yet retaining a distinctive, disjointed assemblage of New Zealand architecture. Fibrolite baches lurching into the swamp, once trendy 70's bungalows, gentile but fading villas, are each enveloped in a green colored liquid paper foliage, its flat abstracted version of nature in contrast to the photorealism of the houses. In further contrast screens the video projection Cars, a series of fast paced, hyper coloured images of parked cars, moving so quickly the cars appear to be mobile, sun glinting off windscreens and immaculate paintwork.
Reviews, Essays & Articles
The Press, 2000 Nov. 22, p. 38
Leigh Martin - Registered Test Pattern; Harrell Fletcher - Cars and Houses.