Exhibition views > Two Ships passing >

Press release 2011


M+B is pleased to announce Two Ships Passing an exhibition of new work by Matthew Brandt.

“Two ships passing” is a common saying describing the possibilities and often unresolved nature of love and connection. The show’s title borrows from this multi-layered expression—its ambiguity as well as promise of potential—to describe the peculiar interdependency between The United States and China.

At the core of the exhibition stands one particular circumstance: when two vessels pass each other in their domestic waters. Created with their own depicted fluid, two large-scale salted paper prints represent this specific occurrence in both Chinese and American waters. Brandt’s act of juxtaposing this simple circumstance creates a shared cultural meeting point.

At the entrance to the gallery a sign reads, “For your safety do not touch the artwork,” warning visitors of the exposed electrical current running through the etched copper picture planes. These photographs of urban Hunan China, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, are circuit boards. This technology was once dominated by US manufactures, today it is primarily produced in China. The electricity courses through the conduit skirting around large-scale photographs of American Lake in Tacoma, Washington, chromogenic prints soaked in the lake water. The electrical current leads to a single original Edison Company bulb (circa late 1800s), now a symbolic relic of technologic innovation and industrial procedures that have helped define America as a super power. Uninterested in resurrecting arguments about Chinese-US relations, Matthew Brandt creates a platform depicting two places, two bodies, and where they meet.

This exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, a Getty initiative that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California to examine the history of contemporary art in Los Angeles.

M+B gallery entrance, altered gallery font
Gallery warning - risk of shock
install view 1
Install view 2
install view 3
install view 4
install view 5
American Lake WA E3
Circuit board, CHCA010101
install view 6
install view 7
install view 8
install view 9
install view 10
Two Ships Passing, China
Two ships passing, U.S.
Press release
Press release (chinese)