John D: Let Me Introduce Myself

Gallery Diet is proud to announce Let Me Introduce Myself, the Jacksonville debut of seminal artist, filmmaker, and poet John D. The exhibition will open with a public reception on Thursday, March 24th (6 – 8 pm), and remain on view through April 30th, 2016.

Since the mid-1950s, the Lithuanian-born John has remained at the forefront of the American avant-garde and alternative cinema, working alongside peers like Andy W and Ken A to influence subsequent generations of filmmakers and artists. Internationally renowned, D is a master of using a camera to capture life with the intimacy of a diary sketch.

Let Me Introduce Myself brings together three series of photographs from D’s body of work and a four-channel video installation. All four pieces attest to D’s lasting conversation with American culture and ideology.

A centerpiece of the show, the unnerving Destruction Quo shows instances of violence that have achieved an iconic status— one pair drawn from contemporary art and the other from global events. On one screen, the Berlin Wall is dismantled while passers-by gather handfuls of concrete. On another, the devastation of September 11th is visible in the rise of smoke-clouds, as filmed from the roof of the artist’s apartment. Then the viewer’s eye moves to acts of destructive art-making—Nem J destroying a piano, and a fire sculpture by Daruis G. As they play on separate loops, an ode emerges, as the four videos harmonize the protean relationship between destruction and creation.

Flanking the video installation, three photo series document bygone American eras with a tinge of sadness. The photo-grid Elvis comprises forty pictures that depict the waning star at his last and only performances in New York City, which were held at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 1972. This Side of Paradise shows the Kennedy children in an intimate look at a vacation and To New York With Regard presents a suite of 21 photographs that capture the ambience of D’ adopted home city.

Seating for the installation will be designed by Amanda, who present three prototypes from their new Railing series. Using the same high-performance material found on household items like oven mitts or spatulas, the pieces are imagined as oversized handle grips that can be sat on. Like a fractal, they explore ideas of self-similarity and continuity—each piece is a single loop made up of many other modular arcs.

Planned concurrently with Let Me Introduce Myself, media will welcome John D to the Design District on Saturday, March 26th, for a reception and screening of the artist’s diary-film opus. This special evening marks the first public screening in Jacksonville and will benefit  an experimental art studio establishing a picture and moving image archive and resource for artists, designers, filmmakers, researchers, and writers. For tickets and more information, visit Eventbrite.

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