Matthew Day Jackson: Gunshot Plywood Bronze Works
GRIMM is pleased to announce the presentation of a group of new bronze sculptures by Matthew Day Jackson (US, 1974). This exhibition marks the artist's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery in Amsterdam.
'On August 1, 2016, the Texas State Department of Education voted to allow concealed firearms on the very campus that was the location of the first "popular" school shooting ex- actly 50 years prior. On August 1, 1966 Charles Whit-
man killed his wife and mother and went on to kill 14 people, caused a miscarriage and injured 31 at the University of Texas in what would become known as the infamous "Clock Tower Shootings."
At the very core of American Identity is the subject of
value founded in the idea of property ownership and the ability to defend oneself and said property. The single-family home and the firearm are two great metrics to determine the value of the individual in American culture. It might also be noted that violence is a language, and one that is deeply imbed- ded in western culture, in its technology, in its diplomacy, in its civil law, in its institutions, in its history. The reminder of this is founded in the seemingly constant barrage of mass shoot- ings and of police killing unarmed black men. These events pour from a wound which never seems to scab, like a cut on a hemophiliac:
Watching my father and mother work very hard to keep up with one of these ideas (they never owned guns) shaped how I see what I do now. I think of my value still within the scale of my working/middle class upbringing. I use many of the materials that made up my home, or rather the illusion of a home. I say this is in that our house was carpeted, and the kitchen floor was vinyl, and the countertops were Formica covering a substrate of plywood. Many suburban homes are projections of homes they aspire to be mirroring the aspirations of their owners.
Plywood is structural and functions as a facial layer and is the surface upon which our reality is affixed. It supports our ideas of ourselves, and in the case of these sculptures it is a framing device lying at the intersection of ownership and violence, two primary lenses through which America sees the world and itself. Bronze is the material of the memorial, or the statue. I think of these as American Statues, memorials to hopefully being understood in the future as the way we were.
The sculptures can be placed inside or outdoors and may lean against a wall or hung.'
- Matthew Day Jackson, 2017