I recently held an autograph session, and signed and negotiated sales of blank sheets of paper. The language and rituals that devise the art system became part of the content of this performance, assisting in giving it meaning. My work challenges contemporary myths that envelop this system. I propose that breaking down its illusions will not diminish the magic.
At the same time, my work acknowledges that there is no artistic foreground without a contextual background. Through various media, I examine this structure in relation to my own means of production, and the space where exchange and aesthetic values cross. It is this relationship that allows me to align tiles on a gallery floor I took from the “extraterritorial” grounds of the United Nations, and title it “No Man’s Land”. Viewers were encouraged to walk on them and feel the experience of being nowhere. These deadpan gestures and objects oscillate between integrity and appearance, the arbitrary and the official. Placebos and narratives take root.
The interplay between mythologies and the role of context in perception reflect one another in my work to reveal an authenticity stranger than either alone. This allows me to convey something close to the motivating impulses behind my ever-evolving stance. Peter Land explains, “I guess that my work with art is instrumental in my pursuit to establish a valid meaning behind my existence. However, the ethical structures that I try to create around me become invalid, or don’t apply, as my idea of meaning changes or is being changed. My sense of reality collapses, and has to be rebuilt on an ongoing basis.”
The questioning of meaning, system, and context are vehicles that motivate my endeavor. Constructing artifice inflected with a caustic but playful touch of anarchy and alchemy is just part of the strategy.
— Brian Hubble
Brian Hubble is born in 1978 at Newport News, Virginia. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His works have been shown widely, including exhibitions at MoMA PS1, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hubble completed his MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 where he was the recipient of the William Merchant R. French Fellowship.