Trevor Shimizu: Site Specific

Trevor Shimizu: Site Specific

EAI is pleased to host a special evening with Trevor Shimizu. As conceived by the artist, the event will take a unique form: For one night only, a selection of Shimizu’s video works will be installed in the program space and throughout EAI’s offices. Visitors are invited to enjoy a glass of wine while ‘schmoozing and art touring’ with Shimizu. This rare solo focus on Shimizu’s video work also highlights his connection to EAI’s history and his role as former Technical Director, when he collaborated with artists such as Dan Graham, Shigeko Kubota, and Carolee Schneemann. The event launches EAI’s distribution of Shimizu’s video work.

Thursday, October 25th, 2018
6:30–8:30 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011

Admission $5
Free for EAI Members

Trevor Shimizu has produced a large body of paintings that are crudely gestural, sparse, and subtle in their aesthetics, if not in their subject matter. Humiliating social incidents and aberrations usually kept private are made public; porn and potty humor are frequent references. The grand narrative of Western art history is co-opted by and clashed with popular culture, dethroning the former’s lofty status and exemplifying Shimizu’s unique relationship to self-portraiture and creative personae: Gustav Courbet, Larry David, explicit Instagram bots, and Eastbound and Down, as well as Shimizu’s identity as a father and Asian American man, are all points of inspiration for him.

Fittingly for an artist so attuned to television and social media, video and performance are important complements to Shimizu’s paintings, though this aspect of his career has not been exhibited as widely. Shimizu’s videos are, like his paintings, semi-autobiographical and minimally aestheticized, embodying a dry wit that undermines the sometimes clichéd gravitas of “video art.” In Memoir (2005), text on screen recounts Shimizu’s experience of the utopic hippie culture of California; Club (2002-12) documents his experience as a photographer at nightclubs and parties. Other works to be shown include an appropriated promotional Scientology video and a music video shot on location at EAI.

There is an undeniably Warholian aspect to how Shimizu has modeled himself as an artist, which will be evoked by his reclusive but persistent presence at the EAI event. Similar too, and central to the experimental ethos of other influential artists such as William Wegman, Michael Smith, Alex Bag, and Dara Birnbaum, is Shimizu’s brilliant scavenging of commercial culture. In conversation with the curator Jacob Fabricius, he states: “I sometimes think that the best art works are bad versions or failed versions of corporate media and entertainment. Failed jokes, comedy, TV or video that isn’t up to production standards, poor design, effects, poor quality techniques, trashy. I like all of that.”

About EAI
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of moving image art. A New York-based international resource for media art and artists, EAI holds a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media artworks, from groundbreaking early video by pioneering figures of the 1960s to new digital projects by today's emerging artists. EAI works closely with artists, museums, schools and other venues worldwide to preserve and provide access to this significant archive. EAI services also include viewing access, educational initiatives, extensive online resources, technical facilities, and public programs such as artists' talks, screenings, and multi-media performances. EAI's Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and features expansive materials on media art's histories and current practices:


Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
t (212) 337-0680
f (212) 337-0679

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