Parisian Laundry is pleased to present Leavee, a two-person exhibition of new works by Rose Marcus and Charles Harlan.
The exhibition's title, Leavee, is a portmanteau. Here is the story: Recently, both Marcus and Harlan left a grand coastal city, one known for being tall, strong, exciting and expensive. The new work narrates their departure but also the parallel realities, economic and ecological, that are pressing that very city to address the sea, that which created its strength, yet now hinders it. Leave and levee become one.
The local administration designed an eighty-year anti-water plan. The planners hope to construct moveable sea walls and create landfills to protect the country's financial center. These vast infrastructure projects beget fantasies… perhaps they will also drain all canals and fill in rivers so the islands of the city simply become one impermeable mass. Perhaps gentrification, which works to flatten culture, is an apt metaphorical precursor to flattening of lands in order to make a guarded waterless Pangea. Surges in the cost of living foster denial of more fundamental threats. Waves of questions, like will the rent rise divert focus from coastlines to the roof over your head. Scarcity seduces as it stratifies; it can breed small thinking and false bonds. But water is big, heavy and enveloping. Reckoning with a body of water will require an expansive logic, one directly opposed to simply getting by.
For the artists, this constriction of the city and corresponding release of pressure has inspired new works that either include or imply water as an element.
Marcus has created a new series of staged photographs. One work uses a documentary detail of a Harlan sculpture framing a fish tank without fish. Another work features an image taken while following a woman around the city simply because she was wearing a bag with fish on it. The photographs are treated as architectural substrates, not as conclusions. Marcus is a detective who is looking for answers and perhaps also her marbles. Interventions in the works are simple; they allow gravity and time to complete the work.
Harlan has made two works that borrow the form of the traditional sculptural fountain found in city parks or gardens. The sculptures contain pumps that cycle water over the surface of the materials, and the question of water retention becomes a sculptural consideration. A third sculpture is a diving board stacked with a pile of firewood in place of a diver. The materials in each piece are at odds with themselves, creating an unsustainable comic tension.
For this exhibition, the artists collaborated on a water clock - a traditional time-telling device - that in the absence of the sun uses the slow and controlled release of water to mark the passage of time.
Rose Marcus (b. Atlanta, GA, 1982) lives and works in New York State. She received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and a M.A. in Art History from Hunter College (New York, NY). Solo exhibitions include Mary Mary (Glasgow, UK), And Now (Dallas, TX), Night Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Know More Games (New York, NY), David Peterson Gallery (Minneapolis, MN), and Eli Ping Frances Perkins (New York, NY). She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in the USA, Germany, Italy, Denmark, and Puerto Rico. In 2017 her work was featured in the exhibition In The Abstract at Mass MoCA (MA). Marcus will have a forthcoming solo exhibition at Night Gallery in Los Angeles.
Charles Harlan (b. Smyrna, GA, 1984) lives and works in Virginia. He received his BA from New York University (New York, NY). Recent solo exhibitions include Atlanta Contemporary (Atlanta, GA), JTT (New York, NY), Kayne Griffin Corcoran (Los Angeles, CA), Rodolphe Janssen (Brussels, BE), Carl Kostyál (London, UK), Pioneer Works (New York, NY). Selected group exhibitions include JDJ (Garrison, NY), David Zwirner (New York, NY), Marlborough Gallery (New York, NY), Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta, GA), White Flag Projects (St Louis, MO), Sikkema Jenkins & Co (New York, NY), M Woods (Beijing, CH), and Maccarone (New York, NY).