Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008
London

Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are pleased to present the exhibition ‘Where is the nearest camera?’ by New York based artist Louise Lawler in their London gallery space.

Renowned since the 1980s for her photographs taken in private collections, museums and auction houses, Louise Lawler continues to question the ideas of authorship and the notion of identity that we invest in works of art. Throughout her career Lawler has often focused on the environments where artworks exist after leaving the artist’s studio. As the place of creation, the artist’s studio was rarely of interest to Lawler. It was rather the life of the work afterwards that raised important questions for her: in which surroundings is art presented to us and how does our perception of it depend on these? What are the mechanisms of the institutions and the art market, which determine the various locations where we can find art?

 

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By manipulating the focus and position of the camera, Lawler demonstrated how an artwork is determined by the paradigms of the art world: a label on the wall of an auction house would become the focus of an image, with only a small fraction of the work itself visible, and the idea of the artwork as a commercial entity would be brought to mind. Other images would show arrangements in private homes, consisting not only of art, but also of furniture and household goods, showing how an artwork can represent something much more private and intimate. In this way Lawler visualized doubts regarding the autonomy of the artwork itself and, simultaneously, demonstrated how the same work can trigger several different aspects of discourse, depending on the context in which it is seen.

The photographs made earlier in Lawler’s career were taken at a time when auction houses, private homes and museums functioned more as separate entities and were easier to tell apart. Today, the boundaries are blurred and the institutional and commercial aspects of the art market are beginning to merge. Auction houses aspire to museum level, with their complex catalogues and flawless presentations. Wealthy private homes are beginning to look like museums – and we can no longer tell whether the quality of an artist’s work is to be determined by institutional appreciation or by success at the auctions. As this development is taking place, the world in front of Lawler’s camera also changes.

This exhibition of Lawler’s work takes place in the vicinity of some of London’s major auction houses, representing one of the ‘living spaces’ for art that Lawler has explored with her camera throughout her career. On a different level the exhibition title ‘Where is the nearest camera?’ motivates the viewer to question his own point of view and perception of the world around him.

 

Installation Views
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Details
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Where is the nearest camera?
Installation view, Sprüth Magers, London, November 28, 2007–January 19, 2008

Details
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Exhibited Works
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Pipibudze, 2007

Louise Lawler
Pipibudze, 2007
Silver dye bleach print
40.6 × 39.4 cm
16 × 15 1/2 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
More Time, 2007

Louise Lawler
More Time, 2007
Chromogenic color print
125.7 × 100.6 cm
49 1/2 × 39 5/8 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Two, 2007

Louise Lawler
Two, 2007
Chromogenic color print
100.6 × 125.7 cm
39 5/8 × 49 1/2 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Hats), 2007

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Hats), 2007
Silver dye bleach print
50.2 × 54 cm
20 1/4 × 22 3/4 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Faces), 2006/2007

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Faces), 2006/2007
Silver dye bleach print
101.6 × 84.5 cm
40 × 33 1/4 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Next to Lacan, 2007

Louise Lawler
Next to Lacan, 2007
Silver dye bleach print
53.7 × 49.2 cm
21 1/8 × 19 3/8 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Intelligible, 2005/2006

Louise Lawler
Intelligible, 2005/2006
Silver dye bleach print
94.6 × 75.6 cm
37 1/4 × 29 3/4 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Untitled, 2006

Louise Lawler
Untitled, 2006
Silver dye bleach print
49.2 × 58.7 cm
19 3/8 × 23 1/8 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
The Desert and a bit of Mountain II, 2007

Louise Lawler
The Desert and a bit of Mountain II, 2007
Chromogenic color print
100.6 × 100.6 cm
39 5/8 × 39 5/8 inches

Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London
Louise Lawler
Africain, Américain (Parisien), 2007

Louise Lawler
Africain, Américain (Parisien), 2007
Silver dye bleach print
74.9 × 74.9 cm
29 1/2 × 29 1/2 inches

Details
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Pipibudze, 2007
Silver dye bleach print
40.6 × 39.4 cm
16 × 15 1/2 inches

Louise Lawler
Pipibudze, 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
More Time, 2007
Chromogenic color print
125.7 × 100.6 cm
49 1/2 × 39 5/8 inches

Louise Lawler
More Time, 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Two, 2007
Chromogenic color print
100.6 × 125.7 cm
39 5/8 × 49 1/2 inches

Louise Lawler
Two, 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Hats), 2007
Silver dye bleach print
50.2 × 54 cm
20 1/4 × 22 3/4 inches

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Hats), 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Faces), 2006/2007
Silver dye bleach print
101.6 × 84.5 cm
40 × 33 1/4 inches

Louise Lawler
Life After 1945 (Faces), 2006/2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Next to Lacan, 2007
Silver dye bleach print
53.7 × 49.2 cm
21 1/8 × 19 3/8 inches

Louise Lawler
Next to Lacan, 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Intelligible, 2005/2006
Silver dye bleach print
94.6 × 75.6 cm
37 1/4 × 29 3/4 inches

Louise Lawler
Intelligible, 2005/2006
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Untitled, 2006
Silver dye bleach print
49.2 × 58.7 cm
19 3/8 × 23 1/8 inches

Louise Lawler
Untitled, 2006
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
The Desert and a bit of Mountain II, 2007
Chromogenic color print
100.6 × 100.6 cm
39 5/8 × 39 5/8 inches

Louise Lawler
The Desert and a bit of Mountain II, 2007
Louise Lawler – Where is the nearest camera? – London

Louise Lawler
Africain, Américain (Parisien), 2007
Silver dye bleach print
74.9 × 74.9 cm
29 1/2 × 29 1/2 inches

Louise Lawler
Africain, Américain (Parisien), 2007
Details
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Selected Press

Louise Lawler
Art Monthly, review by David Barrett, February, 2008

Wenn ein Lampenschirm ins Bild kriecht
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, review by Jörn Ebner, January 5, 2008