Microscope is very pleased to present a screening and artist talk with Matt Town, whose solo exhibition PORTRAITS is on view at the gallery through December 2nd.
The approximately 60-minute program of 16mm films and videos by the artist includes both new and early works relating to themes of the exhibit such as tracing and erasure, records and memory, familial love and conflict, among others. In his works, Town takes us beyond the surface image to deeper inquiries about the subjects and subject matter, unveiling contradictions, obsessions, and secrets as well as unexpected dark humor. Although many of his works can be considered as documents or portraits, Town eschews the typical director/subject power dynamic, offering his subjects time and space to reveal themselves. Structural, conceptual and other formal concerns are also of interest to the artist.
Two new single-channel works currently installed in the exhibit will be screened for the first time. “PROBLEMATIC” (2018) is a work inspired by the story of the invention of the erasable whiteboard and concerned with our tendencies to to fill in information or read into things. The original hand-painted and hand-processed 16mm celluloid film from which the work is made will be projected. For “TRACE”, which was conceived of shortly after the Parkland shooting, Town instructed his father, who is a Florida resident, to find and record himself tracing all the guns in his house on paper with a black marker.
“BILL”, a 19-minute video completed last year, was shot over multiple visits to William Charles Fuller III, a self-taught artist living in Trona — a Borax mining town about 170 miles north of Los Angeles — who over the years has installed a constantly evolving labyrinth of artworks made with scrap metal and fiberglass.
Early works by Town include the black and white 16mm film “GRANDPA” (2013) featuring him performing the role of his grandfather in a prized family photo and “Troubling Motives” (2012) a film that centers around a disturbing incident in his youth and includes footage of the artist skateboarding as a child shot by his father with the camera later used to record “TRACE”.
Matt Town (b. 1989, Sarasota, Florida) is a Los Angeles-based artist working with moving image, photography, painting, installation and sculpture. His work is primarily concerned with a sense of community and one’s role within it and has appeared at Night Gallery, LA; The Box, LA; Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Millennium Film Workshop, New York; Union Docs, New York; among others. In 2017 he was awarded a year-long CalArts REEF Residency. Matt Town received a BA in Film & Media Studies from the University of Florida in 2013 and an MFA in Art from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2017.
More info at www.microscopegallery.com