Double Bind

with Rhea Anastas, Daniel Bozhkov, K8 Hardy, Leigh Ledare, and John Miller

Book Launch & Talk
Sunday, September 13, 4pm

Artists Space Books & Talks
55 Walker Street
New York
NY 10013

Leigh Ledare
Double Bind (Diptych #6/25), 2010
Courtesy the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Coinciding with the final day of the exhibition Tom of Finland: The Pleasure of Play, and co-presented with A.R.T. Press, this event marks the launch of the publication Double Bind (A.R.T. Press, 2015) by art historian Rhea Anastas and artist Leigh Ledare. The authors will be joined by artists Daniel Bozhkov, K8 Hardy, and John Miller to extend the discussion activated within the book.

The book Double Bind pivots around an extensive conversation between Ledare and Anastas concerning Ledare's project of the same name. As an installation, Double Bind puts in play a series of overlaying comparative structures: over one thousand photographs of the artist's ex-wife (half taken by Ledare, the other half by her current husband, according to a script conceived by Ledare) and an ample collection of printed mass media. Through a critical and wide-ranging dialogue, Ledare and Anastas probe the complexities of the viewing experience of the work and the consequences of its provocations.

"Ledare's Double Bind project examines social processes of habitual enactment (such as what it means 'to be a wife'), emotional and material terms of exchange, thresholds of public and private imagination, gender normativity, and symbolic boundaries of relationships—all through the lens of a camera. Ledare suggests a kind of unraveling of these habituations and carries this logic over to his discussion of the work with Rhea Anastas. Here, Double Bind functions not simply as an object of analysis but instead as a rubric through which the two extend the work itself through a dialectic of articulation and dis-articulation. In line with the radical (and often suppressed) premises of conceptual art, Ledare and Anastas challenge and override conventional distinctions between artwork, viewer, artist, critic, and art historian. In this way, this book serves as a vital part of Double Bind's progressive unfolding."

– John Miller

The work of artist Leigh Ledare maps psychosocial relations inscribed within the various orders of photography, language, and public and private social constructions. Ledare’s exhibitions and projects have been exhibited extensively in the US and abroad. Previous publications by Ledare include: Ana and Carl and some other couples (Andrew Roth, 2014), a collaboration with Nicolas Guagnini; Leigh Ledare, et al. (Mousse Publishing, 2012), edited by Elena Filipovic; Double Bind (MFC-michèle didier, 2012); Pretend You’re Actually Alive (PPP Editions and Andrew Roth, 2008); and An Invitation (Leroy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, 2012), a photolithography edition.

Art historian Rhea Anastas is associate professor in the Department of Art, University of California, Irvine, and was a cofounder (with Andrea Fraser, R. H. Quaytman, Nicolás Guagnini, and eight other artists and writers) of Orchard, the experimental New York gallery that operated from 2005–2008. Anastas is author of “Language is the social dress,” included in Josephine Pryde: The Enjoyment of Photography (JRP|Ringier, 2015), and numerous other essays and books, including Allan McCollum (JRP|Ringier, 2012) and, with Michael Brenson, Witness to Her Art: Art and Writings by Adrian Piper, Mona Hatoum, Cady Noland, Jenny Holzer, Kara Walker, Daniela Rossell and Eau de Cologne (Bard College, 2006).

Daniel Bozhkov’s work acquires its form in a process of social anthropology; appropriate means are decided along the way – painting, photography, film or interventions on the city street. His projects have been presented in such venues as MoMA PS1, NYC and Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul, Turkey and in numerous international exhibitions such as the Liverpool Biennial 2010, the 6th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2007, and the 1st Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art in Russia in 2005.

K8 Hardy’s performances, photographs, self-distributed zines, videos & films have been presented at venues including the Pilot Conference Chicago; Reena Spaulings, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, Whitney Biennial 2012; MoMA PS1 in New York; Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas; Higher Pictures, New York; Künstlerhaus, Halle fur Künst und Medien in Graz, Austria. Hardy is a founding member of the queer feminist journal and artist collective LTTR and the New York-based activist group W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy).

John Miller is an artist and critic whose work has been exhibited internationally for thirty years. Miller is Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College. Miller’s 2015 book Mike Kelley: Educational Complex examines Mike Kelley’s eponymous work and is published as part of Afterall’s One Work series. Two anthologies of Miller’s essays have been published by JRP|Ringier: The Ruin of Exchange and The Price Club.

A.R.T. Press is the publishing arm of Art Resources Transfer, a non-profit organization committed to documenting and disseminating artists’ voices and work to the broadest possible public. Through publishing and the free distribution of contemporary art books to public schools and libraries nationwide (D.U.C. Library Program), A.R.T. activates the key components of the printed book to create more egalitarian access to the arts and literacy.

Leigh Ledare & Rhea Anastas
Double Bind
Alejandro Cesarco, ed.
Dialogue by Rhea Anastas and Leigh Ledare; Introduction, Anastas; Preface, Ledare Photography by Leigh Ledare
Designed by Kristian Henson (HWGL)
Published by A.R.T. Press, New York: 2015
Paperback, 264 pages
6.5 x 9 inches / 16.5 x 23 cm
ISBN: 9783863356064