Demon Hill

Hammer Projects: Julian Hoeber

Los Angeles-based artist Julian Hoeber uses a wide range of media—including sculpture, drawing, filmmaking, installation, and photography—to explore psychology, emotion and narrative. For this exhibition, Hoeber presents Demon Hill, a freestanding structure based on the architecture of “gravitational mystery spots.” The architecture of these shacks creates the illusion that gravity works at an angle, that water runs uphill, and that bodies stand at a sharp angle to the floor. “Mystery spots” claim to be an effect and marker of a geological anomaly or a supernatural phenomenon and the illusion is so convincing that it gives even rational people pause. The project will allow for a playful experience of space and narrative while opening questions of how psychology and ideology form meaning in art. Installed on the Museum’s Lindbrook Terrace, Demon Hill is a combination art installation and roadside attraction, transplanted to the marble terrace of the Museum.

This exhibition is organized by Ali Subotnick, Hammer curator.


Julian Hoeber was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1974 and currently lives in Los Angeles. He received a MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; a BA in Art History from Tufts University, Medford, MA; and he also studied at Karel de Grote Hogeschool, Antwerp, Belgium. Hoeber has exhibited in the U.S. and Europe and his work was included in Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2009); Panic Room - Works from The Dakis Joannou Collection, Deste Foundation Centre For Contemporary Art, Athens Greece (2007); Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA (2006); and 2004: Planet B: The Aesthetics of the B-Movie, Palais Thurn & Taxis and Magazin4, Bregenz, Austria, among others. He has had solo exhibitions at Blum and Poe, Los Angeles, Galleria Francesca Kaufmann, Milan, Italy, and Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France. Hammer Projects: Julian Hoeber is his first one-person museum exhibition.


By Luc Sante

The “high” and “low” poles of culture, born of the same womb, were forcibly separated several centuries ago but have been yearning for reunion ever since. As in many other cases where twins were raised apart, their personalities display eerie congruencies, patterns that argue for an innate disposition rather than mere inclinations formed through experience. One of these is a taste for the sublime. The idea was perhaps best defined by Joseph Addison, crossing the Alps in 1699, who termed it “an agreeable kind of horror.” The word was long understood as pertaining to the high, the majestic, the unattainable, but the isolation of that singular aspect—the point where awe and dread, repulsion and attraction, confusion and clarity all meet—was perhaps the starting gun of modernism, occurring sometime in the late seventeenth century.

In high culture, contemplation of the sublime initially gave us, for example, Moby-Dick, the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, Henry David Thoreau’s description of the summit of Ktaadn, the black suns of Odilon Redon, Victor Hugo’s “mouth of shadow,” Italian mannerist landscape architecture, and a hundred variations on the myth of Prometheus. In low culture it primarily gave us fairground attractions: the freak show, the Ferris wheel, the roller coaster (the “Russian mountains”), the fun house. As different as those two sets might appear at first glance, it soon becomes clear that they target the same ganglia, the place where apprehension and surrender whirl around each other so fast that it becomes impossible to say which precedes which.



 Demon Hill dérèglement de tous les sens  Étant donnés 

Killing FriendsTalkers Are No Good Doers All That Is Solid Melts into Air


Luc Sante’s books include Low Life Evidence Kill All Your Darlings Folk Photography


Hammer Projects is made possible with major gifts from Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Additional generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; L A Art House Foundation; Kayne Foundation—Ric & Suzanne Kayne and Jenni, Maggie & Saree; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund. 

Hammer Projects: Julian Hoeber
 has also received support from Karyn Kohl.