Tariq Alvi at Michael Benevento, Los Angeles (2010)
Tariq Alvi: XXMichael Benevento, Los Angeles
20 November 2010 - 15 January 2011
Press release text by Michael Benevento gallery
Michael Benevento is pleased to announce XX, the first Los Angeles solo exhibition by British artist Tariq Alvi.
Often involving processes of accumulation – paper cut-outs, magazine tears, photographs, pins, coins, drawings, club flyers, newspaper collages, silk screen prints, found wood, staples and mirrors— Tariq Alvi’s images and sculptural forms frequently deploy elaborate and meticulous elements of collage as they amass, map, manipulate, punctuate and re-direct issues of desire, economy and formalism.
The largest object on exhibition is Disco Twig, a fourteen-foot long mirror segmented into varied widths and assembled with found wooden sticks wrapped in torn-up dance club flyers. While playing on the inherent reflective nature of mirrors, and by extension issues of identity politics, Tariq Alvi’s repurposed and abstracted forms articulate, conflate and disrupt the formal notions of appropriation with a painstakingly manual production.
In XXXX, Tariq Alvi re-tools a fast-food menu similar to the one used in a earlier work, Help (2003), replacing each letter of the menu with the letter “X” while retaining each item’s price. Using the rhythm within a found form, the letter “X” connotes both abstraction and allusion – buried treasure, a kiss, “moonshine adult entertainment”— indicating a play on language, an investigation of linguistics and vernaculars of capital and consumerism. Alvi evokes the consumptive parallels between processed foods and bodies. Cut off from their prices, their signs of value, Alvi approaches issues of material worth in a market with the potential to effortlessly transform people into things.
Tariq Alvi has shown internationally, including solo exhibitions at Badischer Kunstverein (Germany), Chisenhale (London), 2nd Floor Projects (San Francisco), Cabinet (London), CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and Whitechapel Gallery (London). He lives and works in London.