Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan
Installation view

Rodney McMillian

September 5 – October 17, 2009
Strausberger Platz, Berlin

Opening: September 3, 2009, 7 – 9 pm

I have been following the works of L.A.-based Rodney McMillian for a number of years now. His work fascinates me – Rodney is one of the few artists whose work is both politically salient and conceptually rigorous. It takes on a wide variety of manifestations, from poured paintings to meticulously detailed classical paintings, from videos to installations and readymades.
For the show at Strausberger Platz, Rodney selected and installed works from our collection addressing political and social conditions in the United States.
The central work includes eighteen post-minimalist sculptures crafted from corrugated cardboard and duct tape. The coffin-like forms stand in way, making free access to the collection very difficult. Looming over the cardboard sculptures is unknown #12, a photograph of an anonymous, black-painted alabaster bust bought by the artist in an antique shop. The title of the work suggests it is the sculpture of an unknown person who must have been famous enough to have a bust fashioned after him. Although Rodney considers every portrait to be unique, he has already produced and exhibited a whole series of unknown #…
On the backside of the central exhibition wall are two instances of a commercially produced wool blanket featuring an image of Jesus. in its first showing in Los Angeles, the artist also exhibited Double double Jesus: The same work again, only turned on its side. The key difference between the two works, however, lies in the price: Double double Jesus was twice as expensive.
Presented in the small video room is the work untitled, depicting a body moving under a white sheet. untitled (Feeders) is a site-specific installation consisting of feeding cups designed for various domesticated animals. On a travel cot covered by a sheet printed with comic book motifs, all of the pictures have been blackened out, leaving only the aggressive exclamations made by the supposed children’s heroes. Opposite this hangs a classical still life of a dead mouse dangling from a string. The title of the work is Lilly.
In the last room, a found rug from L.A. hangs on the wall – as a kind of social painting. This is accompanied by a video, in which artist Stephen Westfall stumbles through a reading of Lyndon B. Johnson’s programmatic speech from 1964, The Great Society, while Rodney McMillian gives performance instructions.

Axel Haubrok

Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan
Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan
Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan
Installation view
Rodney Mcmillan, Lily (2004)
Rodney Mcmillan, Lily (2004)
Rodney Mcmillan, Lily (2004)
Rodney Mcmillan
Lily, 2004
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (feeders) (2007)
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (feeders) (2007)
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (feeders) (2007)
Rodney Mcmillan
Untitled (feeders)
2007
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (2005)
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (2005)
Rodney Mcmillan, Untitled (2005)
Rodney Mcmillan
Untitled, 2005

List of works

Rodney McMillian
Portal (With thanks to Stephen Prina), 2009

Rodney McMillian
untitled (Feeders), 2007

Rodney McMillian
18 boxes, 2006

Rodney McMillian
Unknown #12, 2006

Rodney McMillian
Double Jesus, 2006

Rodney McMillian
untitled (Great Society II), 2006

Rodney McMillian
untitled, 2005

Rodney McMillian
Lilly, 2004

Rodney McMillian
untitled (Landscape II), 2004

Rodney McMillian
Bald eagle, 2002

Rodney McMillian
untitled, 2002