FAIR-PLAY logo Matt Saunders (USA)
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> Matt Saunders (USA) 19-21.6
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Auòrson (IS)
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> Wu Ershan (CHINA) 28 - 30.7
> Stella So (HK) 31.7 - 2.8
> GUP-py (JP) 4 - 6.8
> Sayaka Kasahara &
Kenji Kamoshida (JP)
7 - 9.8
> Cacciagrilli (ITA) 11 - 13.8
> Gina Tornatore (AUS) 14 - 16.8
> Chiara Pirito (ITA) 18 - 20.8

“artist statement”, 3’53”, 2001

Over the last few years, my work has incorporated parallel tracks: romantic paintings from the cinema, highly mannered ink on mylar portraits, short video works and drawings of elaborate interiors, described by their contents.
Before Warhol, Jack Smith, wrote: “I know that I prefer non actor stars to ‘convincing’ actor-stars – only a personality that exposes itself – if through moldiness (human slips can convince me – in movies).” This is a starting point for me. I am fascinated by watching the opening sequence of Warhol’s Dracula – the narcissistic actor Udo Kier stares in the mirror as the non-reflecting Count, applying make-up, and, as he does so, we see him slip between performing and simply seeing himself. Other slips interest me: Joe Dalessandro, wanting so badly to be a star, in front of the camera, with only the slightest script, with nothing in particular to perform, except “Joe.” For Jack Smith, the “perfect appositeness” of his favorite stars was often over-performance.

History also over-performs. In 1974 Paloma Picasso acts in a French soft-core film, Immoral Tales, as the Countess Bathory, nude, descending a staircase. In the same film, she stands naked in a tub of virgin blood. In the same year, Stefania Casini stands naked in a Warhol tub before presenting herself to Udo Kier, who seeks the blood of a virgin. I am interested in these historical oddities, and, of course, what it means to reference them today. Cultural meaning is formed by enthusiasms and connections. What do we love? How does this relate to historical moment? To place?

Anything I make that demonstrates these parallels or that replays these scenes points in two directions: back to the original source, but it also forward. There is a romanticism in my work, and it is also self-implicating. One of the many ways that classic Camp operates is to turn the declaration of appreciation for something into a coded declaration about oneself.

When I represent a found photograph, what I usually drop out is the context. When I paint images from a film, what I add is often attention and sensuality, and maybe a confusion of subject and object. When I make short videos I want to lay bare something about the language being spoken. These examples point to the way that I want work to function: indexing specific things, but linking up to outline an empty, very personal center. "I mimic these little things, and do with them what I can."

Matt Saunders


Born 1975 in Tacoma, WA, lives and works in Berlin  
2002 Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT (MFA Painting/ Printmaking)  
1997 Harvard College, Cambridge, MA (BA, Summa Cum Laude, Visual and Environmental Studies)  
Solo exhibitions  
2003 Matt Saunders, Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York  
2001 Screen Test, Galerie Analix Forever, Geneva  
1999 Matt Saunders, In Vitro Alternative Space, Geneva (organized by Ada Polla)  
Group exhibitions  
2003 Prague Biennale 2003  
  Sert Gallery, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA  
2002 Immediate Gesture, Lombard-Freid Fine Arts, New York  
  On Paper, Galerie Andreas Grimm, Munich
  Enough About Me, curated by Debora Kass, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY
  MFA Thesis Show 2002, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT
2001 B-Hotel, P.S. 1, Long Island City, NY
  Wight Biennial Twothousandandone, New Wight Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles
  Yale Norfolk Summer Exhibition, Norfolk, CT and Yale Univ. School of Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
  And she will have your eyes. . . , with Analix Forever, Salon de Mars, Geneva
  MFA 2002, Yale University School of Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
1999 Art Unlimited, Basel, Switzerland (Galerie Analix Forever booth)
Beyond Flaming, Galerie-Atelier A48, Grenoble, France
  Holyoke Center, Cambridge, MA, installation (organized by Scott Rothkopf)
Grants and prizes
2001 Robert Schoelkopf Fellowship
1997 Louis Sudler Prize
  Thomas T. Hoopes Prize


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