Becca MannGokstad Ship, 2013.  Oil on linen.  60 x 40 in.


Becca Mann1000AD

November 7th – December 12th, 2015

Opening reception on November 7th, 6-8 pm

LOUDHAILER is pleased to present 1000AD, an exhibition of works by Becca Mann. The exhibition opens with a public reception on November 7th from 6-8 pm, and continues through December 12, 2015.

“This collection of work ranges through the past four years, when I would sporadically return to a pile of documents having to do with Vikings. Norway circa 1000 AD worked as a kind of fulcrum point, as I sourced material for paintings and drawings from either end of the conversion to Christianity. Ships and portals operated as artifactual brackets around a culture in flux, so that the implications of the artworks could extend backwards and forwards in time from an unrepresentable event.

The Viking ships date from the earlier heathen period, and are seagoing vessels subsequently used in burial mounds. As artifacts, the ships represent a problematic archeological irony. They were preserved rather well in their grave mounds for a thousand years, but after being excavated they were boiled in alum, soaked in linseed oil, and installed in a museum built especially for them. Above ground they are compelling as abstract sculptural objects, with dynamic visual presences in the arched halls of their exhibition space. However, after a hundred years without sufficient climate controls they have become brittle black husks, immobilized in a fragile and temporally vulnerable stasis. In this sorry frozen condition, they interrogate the value and cost of physical access, and raise interesting complications around the generative and degenerative processes of time in relation to meaning.

The carved portals of early medieval stave churches are isolated architectural elements – heavy sculptural forms, whose surfaces are filled to the brim with a syncretic chaos of heathen and Christian imagery. The physical qualities of very old wood, weathered and silvered, suggested that intricate renderings should be made in order to understand what’s happening in the tangled mass of stuff. The churches themselves are incredible wooden palimpsests stranded in the fields of Norway. They’ve been altered, vandalized, relocated, burned down by black metal arsonists, painted over with Rose Painting, sold to Bavarian kings, coated in tar, and carved into with inverted crosses, initials, dates, pentagrams, runes. They are surprisingly flexible cultural objects, and they trace and record the accretion of human time.”

Becca Mann was born in Los Angeles where she currently lives and works.  She holds a BFA and BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Her work has been exhibited at Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles; The Soccer Club Club, Chicago; and Curtat Tunnel in Lausanne, Switzerland, among other venues.  She recently organized a site-specific group exhibition at Basilica Hudson in upstate New York.