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Valerie Snobeck at Simon Lee Gallery

Exhibition preview

NEW York-based artist Valerie Snobeck’s first major UK exhibition, Le monde, le continent, la France, etc…,etc…, la rue de Bizerte, moi will be on display at London’s Simon Lee Gallery from March 28 to May 16, 2014.

Combining antiquated ‘found’ objects with those built in the studio, the exhibition centres around a set of peels taken from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 1970s Documerica Project, which hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities and everyday life in the 1970s.

Alongside these works, Snobeck will also show a group of Depression-era glass pitchers, fractured by ice expansion then repaired using metal armatures; and several imprinted wooden dipsticks for gas and fuel, both vintage and new.

The show opens shortly after Snobeck’s presentation at the Whitney Biennial 2014, for which she is collaborating with filmmaker Catherine Sullivan.

Valerie Snobeck says:

“Whenever I need to make a decision I take it upon myself to consult the Pacific Ocean satellite. You can’t see everything from the view up there, but it also cannot help but reveal some absolute things, some of which are the direction of things, a distance, and a delay.

“Expansion, like breathing, allows for what was external to become internal. A movement to an extended or reach beyond capacity. A bruise happens when vessels are damaged and allow blood to seep where before it had been confined, external, but still within. Can we see everything that is inside us?

“I am often asked if the peels I make are archival and how do we get these things off the wall? They are removed from a wall through a separation, through another peeling.

“I have been searching through this archive for years. Most of the time was spent being afraid to use the images. Not for fear of copyright. The photographers were all paid and released their rights to the images. I was confused about the truth of a photo that was taken to document the current state of the environment.

“Can the environment be sealed within the confines of a frame? Can the environment that existed before be different than the one existing now? The more I searched the archive the more I was convinced that it was through what was not shown in the images, but what it was next to, what surrounded it, and what is now alongside the images that is the importance. What was there that was not visible? What are the layers in front of these things?”

Valerie Snobeck (b. 1980) lives and works in New York. She has had solo exhibitions at Basel Parcours (2013), Le Consortium, Dijon (2012), and has shown in group exhibitions at Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, NL (2013), and The Sculpture Centre, NY (2011), amongst many others. Snobeck will exhibit at the WallRiss Kunstraum, Fribourg, Switzerland, this year, and is currently showing at the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York.

Simon Lee Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DT