The Border, The Ship

Hammer Projects: Alex Hubbard

Construction and art materials, urban detritus, domestic items, and even the occasional animal make their way into New York-based artist Alex Hubbard’s dynamic videos. Avoiding a single point of focus, he constructs his videos in layers, creating all-over compositions in which movement is multi-directional and time seems non-linear. Also a painter, his videos and paintings are constructed through parallel strategies, both exploring the construction, composition, mass, color, and depth of images in unexpected ways. Hubbard’s elaborate Foley soundtracks add a delightful and provocative dimension to his adventurous visual narratives that challenge notions of duration and question the difference between looking and watching. Hammer Projects: Alex Hubbard will mark the debut of his newest video, Eat Your Friends (2011). Presented alongside The Border, The Ship (2010), the exhibition will highlight Hubbard’s increasingly complex videos that engulf viewers with bold colors, performative gestures, and evolving compositions. Organized by Hammer curatorial associate Corrina Peipon, Hammer Projects: Alex Hubbard is his first one-person museum exhibition.


Alex Hubbard was born in 1975 in Toledo, Oregon, and lives in New York. He received his BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. One-person exhibitions of his work have been presented at venues such as Gaga Contemporary, Mexico City; Standard (Oslo), Oslo; and the Kitchen, Maccarone Gallery, and Team Gallery in New York. A two-person exhibition with Oscar Tuazon was presented at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in 2008. Hubbard’s work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including Compulsive Jalouse, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006); Nothingness and Being, Jumex Collection, Mexico City (2009); The Reach of Realism, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2009); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2010); Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York (2010); Knight's Move, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York (2010), and Le Printemps de Septembre, Festival of Contemporary Arts, Toulouse (2011).


By Corrina Peipon

Estragon: I can't go on like this.
Vladimir: That's what you think.
—Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Airing from 1968 to 1973, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In featured a style of comedy that ranged from silly to sardonic. The variety show’s title was a riff on words like love-in and sit-in, hallmarks of the hippie and activist countercultural movements of the time. Laugh-In was as goofy as it was stylish and sophisticated. Each episode closed with a live-to-tape segment in which hosts Dan Rowan and Dick Martin traded jokes with cast members in front of their “joke wall,” a cyclorama decorated in a vaguely psychedelic pattern of bright pink, yellow, and green organic shapes that opened like cabinet doors. Assembled behind the wall, cast members—including Ruth Buzzi, Henry Gibson, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, and Lily Tomlin—opened the doors on cue to exchange jokes with Rowan and Martin, often breaking character and clearly wandering off script, flubbed lines leading to improvised hilarity. Verbal and visual non sequiturs were televisual juxtapositions that signified ambivalence with regard to the show’s own position and appropriateness during a time of war and social upheaval. 


Hammer Projects is made possible by a major gift from The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.
Generous support is provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy. Additional support is provided by Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley; the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; City of Los Angeles; the Decade Fund; and the David Teiger Curatorial Travel Fund.