Jesse Fleming : Desert

“The desert is less “nature” than a concept, a place that swallows up boundaries. When the artist goes to the desert he enriches his absence and burns off the water on his brain… A consciousness of the desert operates between craving and satiety.” –Robert Smithson, excerpted from A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects (1968)

The Company is pleased to announce Jesse Fleming’s, Desert, presented at the gallery from March 12 – April 23, 2011. This is Fleming’s second solo exhibition at The Company, and will feature three new works consisting of videos, selected photographs, and a book. Fleming describes his process for Desert:

For one month in 2009 I lived twenty miles into Joshua Tree National Park. I stayed in a cabin down a dirt road, off the grid, with no means of communication. Water was tanked in and power was limited to solar and battery. I put together the shoot when I got there. The idea was immersion and reaction – a documentation of myself in the desert and the record of that time. I would wake up at sunrise and begin filming. The daily practice was based around a car, a camera pack, and a map. I would pick an area or direction and if it had an interesting feeling to it, hike from there. Time was spent drifting, shooting, studying, and building on each preceding day.

Desert (2011), was shot in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, 140 miles east of Los Angeles. The park is over 1200 square miles of high altitude desert with bizarre geological features. The edited footage captures the sublime cycles within the desert landscape – the shifting position of the sun, clouds, and the movement of the desert plants by the wind. The hypnotic pace of the desert is interrupted by aerial shots of crop circle-like patterns in the flat valley. The patterns evoke Michael Heizer’s motorcycle markings, Circular Planar Displacement Drawing, where tire marks etched the sand to be erased by first rain.

A selection of photographs from Desert will be exhibited along with photographs from the ethereal It series. It distills the content of Desert to shape, sound, light, color, and atmospheric perspective. The video It will also be shown along with sound component. Being influenced by the work of Michael Snow and Robert Irwin as well as science of brain entrainment and psychoacoustics, Fleming’s work incorporates visual and audio to construct an experiential journey.

JESSE FLEMING (b. in 1977, Northern CA.) He received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, New Genres Dept. He has had solo exhibitions at The Company, LA, Night Gallery, LA and The Fireplace Project, East Hamptons, NY. He collaborated with Daniel Arsham on a video for the Merce Cunningham Dance Co., and has directed videos for MoMA, NY, Guggenheim, NY, and PERFORMA, including Sigur Ros, DFA, and The Doug Aiken Happening. He has worked as first camera assistant and operator for Matthew Barney’s films, and was director of photography to Francessco Vezzoli. Fleming is currently director of photography on a Getty Museum documentary of Light and Space artists. Residencies include Riverside Art Museum and Joshua Tree National Park Residency Program, Cuts and Burns Artist Fellowship, The Outpost, Brooklyn, NY, and The Old School for Social Sculpture, Catskills, NY. Jesse lives and works in Los Angeles.

View Jesse Fleming Artist Page