Jeremy Blake

Sodium Fox

October 7 – December 3, 2005

Press Release

Sodium Fox was created in collaboration with the talented and reclusive Nashville poet and musician David Berman, of whom The New Yorker writes "… is a young Southern poet with a sly, intense regard for the past. He comes on like a prankster, restocking the imperial orations of Wallace Stevens and the Byzantine monologues of John Ashbery with the pop-cultural bric-a-brac of a new generation." Blake's works have had a similar emphasis on an amalgamation of high-minded modernism with the often homely and sometimes sublime details of contemporary life. In this new opus, Blake takes as his departure Eugène Delacroix's Romantic painting, Liberty Leading The People. Delacroix's heroic image depicts the allegorical figure of Liberty as a half-draped woman wearing the traditional Phrygian cap of liberty and holding a gun in one hand and the tricolor in the other. Sodium Fox depicts a stripper from the Los Angeles club, Crazy Girls; a young woman who Blake presents as a similarly allegorical figure of freedom and confident independence. The film's terrain is one of superchurches, Wal-Marts, and war, but one that also contains the vital presence of the Sodium Fox, who might be a principle, a woman, or both.

The exhibition also presents a salon-style installation of paintings, drawings and photographs; and features a large C-print riffing on Ed Ruscha's classic conceptual photo-work Every Building on the Sunset Strip, with Blake's psychedelic version dubbed Every Hallucination on the Sunset Strip. The title film shifts rapidly from the artist's childhood ink drawings to watercolors to photo-collages to digital imagery within a single sequence, creating a unique sort of 21st century synesthesia. With his latest film, Jeremy Blake has captured the blissful, libidinal sensation of liberty as experienced from within. Sodium Fox is transcendental but seductive, or as Blake says, "a peep show for poets."