Sep 15–Dec 5, 2010

Erin Shirreff: Still, Flat, and Far


Erin Shirreff, 2010

Erin Shirreff: Still, Flat and Far, 2010, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

This is the first solo museum exhibition of the work of Erin Shirreff (b. 1975, Kelowna, British Columbia; lives Brooklyn, New York). Consisting of all new work, this exhibition includes video, sculpture, and works on paper that conjure familiar objects, sites, and recollections. Shirreff’s work explores how images of extraordinary landmarks and artifacts become seared into cultural memory through their persistent reproduction, and how our vision of them is shaped as much by their reproduction as by our own experience. Through such subject matter the artist manipulates images of objects, architecture, and landscapes to reveal the subtle and inescapable role of the camera’s eye.

Trained as a sculptor, Shirreff works in multiple media, including photography and video, and her work suggests evocations as diverse as the archeological cataloging of ancient tools, the observation of planets through telescopic devices, and the hulking presence of minimalist sculpture in the landscape. For this exhibition, the artist elegantly mines the terrain of mediation and representation through a variety of formal strategies, including pigment prints and a video work that utilizes images of the moon. The exhibition also includes sculptures molded from compressed ash. Their forms might recall the sharp angles and planes of minimalist sculpture, though their hollow frames and seemingly fragile construction belie this association.
Big Truck UnloadingStill, Flat, and FarJust Right

ICA acknowledges the generous sponsorship of Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson for the exhibition publication. ICA is grateful for the support of The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania.