December 15, 2017 - January 15, 2018
Club Pro Los Angeles is pleased to present Truth and Trust, an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist, Adam Stamp.
In what may be seen as a departure from his previous works, which he describes as “non-abstract sculpture,” Stamp will present combinations of photographs and brass railing. The brass serves as a connector, or physical line, through both the gallery and his prior investigations into the bar as site of service and contact: a site with an equalizing effect; where people go to celebrate payday or to spend the last dollar they have—where people sit on the same level, are served the same, and being-at-the-bar becomes a state of being unto itself.
The title of the show comes from an essay by Gilles Deleuze on Herman Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street. Melville’s story is a tale of refusal and soft resistance where Melville’s title character, Bartleby, repeats the mantra “I'd prefer not to” every time he is asked by his boss to perform a task. Deleuze meditates on this phrase, which he calls Bartleby’s formula, discussing the potential of such a soft refusal to challenge dominant capitalist, corporatist ideologies. The concept of refusal continues to be a key interest for Stamp, who continuously questions the value of object and image production and art participation, en masse. May one produce from a position of refusal? What might be refused and what could that refusal look like?
Deleuze situates this particular story within Melville’s contemporary context, America’s coming of age period, between Revolutionary and Civil Wars, where Melville’s work is a sort of precursor to the philosophies now categorized under American Pragmatism. For Deleuze, the heart of American Pragmatism was a deep commitment to pluralism. He understood the novelty of American thought, recently liberated from its father-figure (Great Britain), as an attempt to transform the world—a rebellion against the paternal Spirit, an affirmation of the a world in progress, an archipelago (“for the Americans invented patchwork”).
Here, Deleuze sites Truth and Trust as the foundations of a new community, “whose members are capable of trust or confidence, that is, of a belief in themselves, in the world, and in becoming.” In a time like now, where truth and trust are so fraught, how might we, as autonomous bodies and subjects with different interests, causes, and concerns, come together against our current world order, where one concern may be the return of an even more dangerous paternal figure than before? With this question in mind, Stamp aims to present some of the complications of our moment and asks not for an answer, but perhaps to be complicit with complexity itself.
The exhibition will culminate in a publication of commissioned texts circling around the concepts of truth and trust.
Adam Stamp (b. 1985, Pittsburgh) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BA in Art History from the University of Oregon, Eugene (2007) and his MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (2017). He is an Aries Sun, Pisces Moon, and Capricorn Rising. This is his first solo show at Club Pro Los Angeles.