Marlborough is pleased to present MERCURY CITY an exhibition by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. Centered around a cinema playing a trilogy of videos: The Floating Chain, Scenario in the Shade, and Mercury City, the show features a curious sequence of adjacent rooms beginning with an antechamber/waiting room and culminating in a conventional commercial gallery space designed by the artists.
Within these spaces we find the artists’ signature cactus/crystal sculptures and ink on mirror-polished stainless-steel abstractions, as well as new wall-mounted ceramic and silkscreen hybrids. These pieces function both as works in an exhibition as well as props in a constructed environment that a viewer occupies as a “set”, with each component signaling a specific function and location that hovers just outside of our lived experience and expectations.
The videos further expand upon this theme, obliquely explicating the fictional San-San Megaplex and its component subcultures. As does a viewer within the artists’ installations, the camera passes over depopulated environments from elegantly appointed living rooms to abandoned architecture, accumulating a loose narrative of linked imagery. The use of repurposed advertising suggests a consumer society akin to and spawned from our own, and the soundtrack (with contributions from Bobby Gillespie, MGMT, Hot Chip, and Kurt Vile) and disembodied voice-overs serve as unreliable tour guides to a parallel world made manifest within the physical exhibition.
Soundtrack composed by Jennifer Herrema (Royal Trux) with original contributions from Psychic Ills, Devendra Banhart, Mayo Thompson, Endless Boogie, White Magic, Lizzi Bougatsos, Alex Waterman, Neil Hagerty, Bobby Gillespie, MGMT, Hot Chip, Matt Sweeney and Kurt Vile.
Jonah Freeman was born in 1975 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Justin Lowe in 1976 in Dayton, Ohio. The artists have been working collaboratively since 2007, creating large-scale immersive installations. The artists have mounted solo exhibitions at Marlborough Contemporary in New York, MOCA Los Angeles, Deitch Projects and Ballroom Marfa, and were recently featured the 2013 and 2016 editions of Art Basel Unlimited in Basel, Switzerland. Their installation Scenario in The Shade was featured in last year’s 15th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. This summer, the artists will present Scenario in the Shade again at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artists live and work in New York.