Willow Checker

There was a willow that hung over the farmhouse that I grew up in, but it was cut down when I was still quite small. Despite knowing its stump well I think a part of me is still looking for that tree.


Inspired by the essay Malinche and The End of The World by Franco “Bifo” Berardi in e-flux journal’s The Internet Does Not Exist published by Sternberg Press.

The myth of Malinche tells of a world ended and of a woman caught between two cultures, translating the words of conquerors and the conquered. As a symbol of colonization and cultural subjugation, she represents the loss of an indigenous way of life and the assimilation to the colonizers’ language and values. The myth speaks to the pain of a world lost and the struggle to understand and survive in a new reality.

Malinche, 160825, photographed oil and projection on wood 14 × 10 in

1, 7, and 6000 @ O’Born Contemporary

1, 7, and 6000

Alex Fischer, Solo Exhibition, O’Born Contemporary
February 2015

(1) On the occasion of Alex Fischer’s fourth solo exhibition with O’Born Contemporary, he problematizes the “single image” by its very conversion into multiple, nearly identical forms. A digital original is here reproduced as 1 digital print, 7 large oil paintings, and 6000 small acrylic paintings. Through this multi-modal exhibition, Fischer deliberates on the nature of art with its value systems and capitalist patrimony.

Current agricultural trends demonstrate that when tomatoes are grown, the aim is to direct natural processes, taking agency over evolution. Like all biological species, the tomato plant contains a genetic copy of itself inside every cell of its being. Repetition and versioning are as much a rule in agriculture as they are in human life. Conversely, uniqueness and independence of mind are selling points when it comes to art. There is an established value in originality.1.

(7) Each of the 7 oil paintings was completed by an equal number of painters working in Xiamen, China. Fischer puts the work of these trained hands in direct visual argument with the mechanically reproduced print: he suggests deliberation about the capitalist mechanism and simultaneously entertains his moral ambiguity within this landscape of unapologetic consumptive socio-culture.

The controversy here may be in the fact that Fischer criticizes the capitalist system by highlighting elements that are uncomfortable to acknowledge while fully engaging with capitalism’s ideologies through the kaleidoscope of fine art and its market. He grows the pieces, puts them under optimal lighting, and creates versions at price points to invite the viewer to buy.

(6000) An arched shelf bolsters 6000 small sheets of thin, transparent plastic. Hundreds have already been painted, revealing that they exist as an assemblage of tiles that, when properly arranged, mimic their parent image.

Artwork as a commodity is not valuable per se– its value is the result of an ongoing and never ending social negotiation. That being said, the work of art, and painting specifically, is an object that bears a concrete, almost measurable evidence of labour on its surface.2. Paintings are worked over and leave a trace of the individual mark maker. Each edition in 1, 7, and 6000 shows on its surface the inevitable difference made during translation between parent image and end product. Each image is the real thing.

1. This idea is commensurate with remarks issued by Ben Davis: It is the “uniquely middle-class nature of creative labor in the visual arts [that] would seem to explain its alternative emphasis on the individual, that is, on the virtues of personality and small production, as well as a whole host of other stylistic tics and affectations(…) visual art’s characteristic questioning or ironic attitude; the value of the artist’s signature and the “artist’s statement” that are associated with it.” Davis, Ben. 9.5 Theses on Art and Class – Commerce and Consciousness. Chicago:Haymarket Books, 2013. PDF file.

2. Graw, Isabelle. Thinking through Painting – Reflexivity and Agency beyond the Canvas. Sternberg Press, 2012. Page 56.

VII giclée, 2015
VII 冯声贵 Feng Shui Gui
VII 叶安 Ye An
VII 林建 Lin Jian
VII 江明 Jiang Ming
VII 陈山 Chen Shan
VII 陈文波 Chen Wen Bo
VII 陈秋林 Chen Qiu Lin

82 × 48 × 44 inch acrylic, aluminum, and steel