Los Angeles-based artist Andrew Norman Wilson works primarily in moving image and installation, drawing on a range of filmic conventions to examine intersecting histories of cinema, image circulation, and labor. The corporate and political interests that undergird the so-called creative economy are a persistent theme for Wilson. His past works have taken a critical eye to Google (Workers Leaving the Googleplex, 2011) and Eastman Kodak (Kodak, 2019) to consider how Silicon Valley, the entertainment industry, and the art world manufacture cultural products from contracted labor.
For his first institutional solo exhibition, Wilson debuts an installation of his new video, Impersonator (2021), alongside the recent Kodak (2019). Impersonator follows an unhoused character impersonator on Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard who seeks connection to the world the through radical, Hollywood-oriented conspiracy theories that they consume by way of a Bluetooth headset soldered into the helmet of their storm-trooper-like costume. Kodak is centered around Rich, a semi-fictional former employee of the Eastman Kodak Corporation who is loosely based on the artist’s father. After being blinded in a workplace accident, Rich spends his days trying to make sense of his life and work by listening to archival tapes of Kodak founder George Eastman’s personal reminiscences. Both works capture their respective protagonists grappling with obsolescence, unproductivity, and a growing sense of alienation. Seen together, the films speak to Wilson’s evolving interest in multilayered fictions and how media and cinema have the capacity to influence human perception, attitudes, and behavior by affecting our sense of the real.
Andrew Norman Wilson (b. 1983 Millis, MA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include Lavender Town Syndrome, Ordet, Milan (2020); In Practice: Total Disbelief, Sculpture Center, New York (2020); Hirngespenster, Kunstverein Braunschweig (2019); Picture Industry, Luma Foundation, Arles (2018); and Dreamlands, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017). His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Le Centre national des arts plastiques France, the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, the Stolbun Collection, Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative, Collection Lambert, and the Kadist Foundation.
List Projects 23: Andrew Norman Wilson is organized by Selby Nimrod, Assistant Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center.
Exhibitions at the List Center are made possible with the support of Fotene & Tom Coté, Audrey & James Foster, Idee German Schoenheimer, Joyce Linde, Cynthia & John Reed, and Sara-Ann & Robert Sanders. Additional funding for List Projects 23: Andrew Norman Wilson is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
General operating support is provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Council for the Arts at MIT; Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost at MIT; the MIT School of Architecture + Planning; the Mass Cultural Council; and many generous individual donors. In-kind media sponsorship provided by 90.9 WBUR. The Advisory Committee Members of the List Visual Arts Center are gratefully acknowledged.