Closed Down Clubs was a sculptural presentation of a series of freestanding doors, produced by the artist to match exactly those of a particular nightclub or small community establishment right at the moment when it ceased to exist. When a place closed, Connor would document the doors in detail and she has worked with a range of fabrication techniques in their re-creation. The artist frames each of these doors as a document for a lost space, entry into a place that was.
These physical pieces of the clubs acted as signage announcing their respective identities: Connor’s sculptures capture their details as a piece of the past, and the artist even reproduced ephemera from the events inside (such as club flyers) and eviction notices from city authorities. Most striking are the artist’s inclusion of the direct statements clubs would post on the doors advising their communities of their demise–Connor recorded and reproduced these as well.
These pieces are documents in that they are repetitions of the original doors, toeing the line between artifice and artifact. Their original construction is reenacted, as is the wear and tear and marks of use. Paper ephemera is duplicated using archival materials silk screened onto aluminum foil. The doors-cum-sculptures take on a persistent stance in the face of changing circumstance. The work presents the doors as freestanding, allowing the binary implications (in or out, locked or unlocked) to be circumnavigated as one views them in the round. Psychologically, the doors might stand for obstacles that, in this case, become objectified and pointed to, as they are seen from all sides.
The majority of the doors came from closed establishments in Los Angeles, though some come from other cities like New York. Documentation of the door from a single story building at 107 Norfolk Street–formerly home to Tonic nightclub from 1998-2007, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan–was discovered by the artist while researching the building that the Lisa Cooley Gallery had taken over for an exhibition wherein Connor participated.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Fiona Connor was born in Auckland, New Zealand and lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work is shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions, most recently at the Chicago Architecture Biennial; REDCAT, Los Angeles; 1301PE, Los Angeles; Human Resources, Los Angeles; MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, West Hollywood; Pact, Essen, Germany; Artspace, Auckland; and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. Connor was included in the first Los Angeles biennial, Made in L.A. 2012 at the Hammer Museum, and her 2010 solo show Murals and Print was the inaugural exhibition at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles. In 2010 she was a finalist for New Zealand’s most prestigious contemporary art award, the Walters Prize.
All works courtesy of the artist and 1301PE.
Closed Down Clubs is graciously supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance.