Ericka Beckman

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Ericka Beckman at Secession

Ericka Beckman at Secession

6 July to 3 September 2017

Solo exhibition Game Mechanics at Secession, Vienna, Austria.

The American artist Ericka Beckman’s films and videos focus on games and sport competitions and their rules and structures, featuring the underlying playing fields as an allegory for the development and maintenance of socio-cultural norms. In her exhibition Game Mechanics, Beckman presents the film installation You the Better (1983/2015) and her most recent film Tension Building (2016) as well as drawings.

Beckman makes cinematography itself a medium of performance art in order to address fundamental questions such as the construction of movement and gestures, the regulation of space and time, and the joining of the imaginary and the real. For the recently completed version of Tension Building, which makes its debut at the Secession, the artist has updated her filmic investigation against the backdrop of the last U.S. election to bring critical pressure to bear on the prominent role of athletics and spectacle in American culture. She created a film ending that depicts the U.S. Capitol as the final moment to the game. Beckman found this image on the Internet of the inauguration of the Harvard Stadium in 1910, which featured a model of the Capitol on the playing field. The final image tethers the stadium to its underlying structure that engages all national, militaristic and corporate interests into play...

Ericka Beckman in Mousse Magazine

Ericka Beckman in Mousse Magazine

6 July 2017

Interview by Emily Watlington Ericka Beckman "Game Mechanics" at Secession, Vienna in Mousse Magazine.

Spectacle sports have been the subject of Ericka Beckman’s work since the 1980s, but the recent US election has reemphasized their troubling place in American culture. Here she discusses this political reframing of her work as part of the current rediscovery of her 1980s films, which are displayed at Vienna Secession...

Ericka Beckman in The Walker Art Center's Untitled (Blog)

Ericka Beckman in The Walker Art Center's Untitled (Blog)

18 October 2016

Interview with Victoria Sung Game On: Ericka Beckman's You The Better in The Walker Art Center's Untitled (Blog).

Since the mid-1970s, Ericka Beckman has experimented with film as a medium for expanding the possibilities of performance, often creating set pieces and rule-based actions specifically for the camera. Presenting the original film in conjunction with animated props, the installation You The Better (1983/2015) implicates the viewer as an active participant in the game. You The Better is on view through December 31 in the Walker group exhibition Less Than One. Here, we talk about the spirit of easy collaboration in New York of the 1970s and ’80s, how the original film resonates with today’s plugged-in audiences, and the analogy between games of chance and life...

Ericka Beckman in the Los Angeles Times

Ericka Beckman in the Los Angeles Times

29 July 2016

Article in the Los Angeles Times online by Deborah Vankin, The Broad acquires 29 new works, keeping an eye on local artists.

Eli Broad has been a busy man this year overseeing his Broad museum, which is approaching its one-year-anniversary in September — but not too busy to buy new art.

The Broad has added 29 new works to its permanent collection, it announced on Friday, all acquired since the museum’s opening. A third of the new works come from local artists, further deepening the museum’s connection to Los Angeles...

Ericka Beckman in Artforum

Ericka Beckman in Artforum

May 2016

Review by Catherine Taft of Cinderella at Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, California, in Artforum.

Ericka Beckman’s Cinderella, 1986, a 16-mm rendering of the fairy tale, is an Atari-like musical in which the title character staggers through various levels of narrative as if in a video game. As the centerpiece of a spellbinding exhibition, this rarely screened film demonstrated the staying power of Beckman’s work thirty years on...

Ericka Beckman at the Walker Art Center

Ericka Beckman at the Walker Art Center

7 April to 31 December 2016

Included in group exhibition Less Than One at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Less Than One is an international, multigenerational group show offering in-depth presentations of work from the 1960s to the present by 16 artists central to the Walker’s collection. Included alongside such signature artworks as Sigmar Polke’s Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters (1991) are major acquisitions on view here for the first time, including Ericka Beckman’s You The Better, Film Installation (1983/2015), Adrian Piper’s The Mythic Being: Sol’s Drawing #1–5 (1974), and Renée Green’s Bequest (1991), among other featured pieces...

Ericka Beckman at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Ericka Beckman at the Whitney Museum of American Art

1 May to 27 September 2015

Included in the inaugural group exhibition America Is Hard To See at the new building of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, NY.

Drawn entirely from the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection, America Is Hard to See takes the inauguration of the Museum’s new building as an opportunity to reexamine the history of art in the United States from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Comprising more than six hundred works, the exhibition elaborates the themes, ideas, beliefs, and passions that have galvanized American artists in their struggle to work within and against established conventions, often directly engaging their political and social contexts. Numerous pieces that have rarely, if ever, been shown appear alongside beloved icons in a conscious effort to unsettle assumptions about the American art canon...