June 4 - July 16, 2016
Artist's Reception: June 4, 2016, 6-9pm
Show Catalog (pdf, 7.47 Mb)
Charlie James Gallery is proud to present Magdalena Kita in her first solo show at the gallery. Office Hour features Californication, Kita’s latest multimedia project, consisting of a large collection of beach towels, drawings, performances, and a series of television commercials now in production.
Using a broad formal language inspired by Byzantine icons, Nineties-era Eastern European drug culture, the psychedelic-revolutionary aesthetics of the Seventies, minimalism, and art brut, the towels and drawings function as Trojan horses for a wide range of subtle, complex, and quietly rebellious erotic motives. Kita continually experiments with methods of display to activate the towels’ objective purpose, having young sunbathers parade them at the seaside or down the main street of a small town, as well as using them in gallery contexts and as part of performances in art institutions.
The explicit imagery is mostly a trap for viewers accustomed to stereotypical representations of the female body. Kita intends for her work to continually infect new contexts like a virus, playfully manipulating identity, autobiography and historical truth to influence her audience.
Kita is currently working with advertising professionals to film a series of 15-second commercials for Californication, which borrow retail advertising’s language and formal style while subverting the art industry’s own promotional methods. In these videos, the erotic towels are displayed in everyday relationship situations, such as a young family enjoying a visit to the beach.
A conceptual catalogue of the Californication works, supported by eleven essays commissioned from cultural experts, authors, and men with whom Kita has had a prior relationship, will be released by Snoeck Publishing later this year.
Magdalena Kita (born 1983, Debica, Poland) is based in Cologne, Germany. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, and the Kunsthochschule Kassel, completing her diploma with Rita McBride at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She co-founded the Congress, a semi-fictional international womens’ organization and sustained live-art project, which dissolved in 2012. This year, Kita made solo presentations at Bruce Haines Mayfair, London and Prince of Wales, Munich following 2015’s Californication, a performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, parallel to Rita McBride’s exhibition ‘Public Tilt’. Her group exhibitions include Egyptian Art and Antiques, Los Angeles; Adler, Düsseldorf; Venus & Apoll, Düsseldorf; Kunstmuseum Bochum; Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach; and Kunstmuseum Solingen.