Jason Fulford: High Anxiety at FraenkelLAB
Feb 9 — Mar 25, 2017
High anxiety, it’s always the same.
High anxiety, it’s you that I blame.
It’s very clear to me, I’ve got to give in.
High anxiety, you win.
– Mel Brooks
FraenkelLAB is pleased to present High Anxiety, the first solo exhibition of Jason Fulford in the Bay Area, from February 9 – March 25, 2017. The exhibition will open on Thursday, Feburary 9, 5:30-7:30pm, with an interactive performance by the artist at FraenkelLAB.
Jason Fulford: High Anxiety is a multi-part exhibition featuring 12 eclectic color photographs, a slideshow titled 33 Questions from a Mad–House, and an installation for the artist’s opening night performance. Fulford is known for the playful, enigmatic quality of his photographs, books, and performances, which provide more questions than answers. Using subtle humor and open-ended narrative, Fulford’s exhibition will explore the emotional state of the country and our communal feelings of anxiety.
A central characteristic of Fulford’s work is how meaning is generated through associations between text and image and through sequences of images. The photographs in High Anxiety are drawn from Fulford’s recent monograph, Contains: 3 Books, which includes the volumes I Am Napoleon, Mild ModerateSevere Profound, and &&. In the gallery, Fulford’s photographs will be interspersed with texts from various sources that were included from the volume I Am Napoleon, such as this quote from Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human: “remember that dancing is not the same thing as staggering weakly back and forth between different impulses.”
A through line of the exhibition is differing concepts of madness, which may vary depending on a person’s background or culture. The slideshow, a collaboration with curator Jordan Stein, is an unconventional interview in which questions, drawn from Nellie Bly’s 19th-century exposé on insane asylums, are followed by responses in the form of photographs by Fulford. In addition, throughout the exhibition, visitors will be able to request copies of “case studies” related to notions of madness, which Fulford published in his book Mild Moderate Severe Profound.
The works in the exhibition were partly inspired by Mel Brooks’ 1977 satirical psycho-comedy High Anxiety, which parodies iconic films by Alfred Hitchcock. On February 27 at 8pm, Fulford and Fraenkel Gallery are pleased to join with The Roxie Theater in San Francisco to present a special screening of High Anxiety in conjunction with the exhibition. For the screening, Fulford will present selected shorts and a raffle of homemade items.
Jason Fulford is a photographer and co-founder of J&L Books. Fulford’s monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), and Hotel Oracle (2013). He is co-author with Tamara Shopsin of the photobook for children This Equals That and co-editor with Gregory Halpern of The Photographer’s Playbook. In 2014, Fulford’s work also was included in Fraenkel Gallery’s exhibition Where There’s Smoke. His most recent publication, Contains: 3 Books (The Soon Institute, 2016), is a product of Fulford’s travel to 15 countries as a Guggenheim Fellow, and will be available for sale at FraenkelLAB ($60).
FraenkelLAB, spearheaded by Frish Brandt and Jeffrey Fraenkel, is Fraenkel Gallery’s new venue for adventurous artwork from any era and in any medium. Follow @fraenkelLAB on Instagram for the latest news about other upcoming events.