THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON

PRESS RELEASE

 ARTIST DAVE MCKENZIE PREMIERES A NEW VIDEO WORK FOR THE ICA'S MOMENTUM SERIES

The eighth exhibition in the Institute of Contemporary Art's Momentum series features Jamaican-born, New York-based artist Dave McKenzie. Momentum examines new developments in contemporary art, inviting artists from the U.S. and around the world to create new work for the ICA. McKenzie works in a variety of media and is known for his playful, conceptual approach to themes such as artistic identity, racial identity, generosity, and the everyday. Momentum 8: Dave McKenzie will be on view from July 25 - October 28, 2007. 

"Dave McKenzie's work is full of humor and accessible ideas, but also driven by intense feeling," says Jill Medvedow, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art. "These down-to-earth means are a way to address the weighty issues of race and identity."

For the ICA, McKenzie will debut a new video, entitled Present Tense, that addresses the major themes of his artistic practice. Inspired by Kafka's Metamorphosis and the Don Knotts children's film The Incredible Mr. Limpet, the video explores artistic and racial identities, willed and unwilled transformations, and performance anxiety. The deliberately clumsy stop-time animation features dolls of McKenzie himself and Andy Warhol considering the possibilities, limits, and consequences of self-transformation.

McKenzie has frequently made use of his own likeness in his work, as in While Supplies Last (2003), a performance that featured the artist in a giant papier-mâché mask of himself giving miniature "Dave" bobble-heads to passers-by. In Self-Portrait Piñata (2002), a performance and Video, a hanging "Dave" piñata is bashed by children. We Shall Overcome (2003) is a performance video in which McKenzie dons a suit and giant Bill Clinton mask and parades up and down 125th Street in Harlem.

"McKenzie's art is compelling in its seeking to understand his place in the world-the complex, intersecting identities of being a black man and an artist," says exhibition curator Bennett Simpson.  "He uses his own body as a vehicle for exploring the images and affects that society ascribes to these figures."

Dave McKenzie was born in 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica, and lives and works in New York. McKenzie attended the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and the Skowhegan Studio Program, Skowhegan, Maine. He has held residencies at the P.S.1 National Studio Program, New York (2001-02) and the Studio Museum in Harlem (2003-04). McKenzie has had solo exhibitions at 40,000 Gallery, Chicago (2006); Susanne Vielmetter gallery, Los Angeles (2004); and Savage Art Resources, Portland, Oregon (2004). His work has been included in significant group shows including Freestyle (2001) and Figuratively: William Cordova, Dave McKenzie, and Wangechi Mutu (2004), both at The Studio Museum in Harlem; the Queens International (2002) and Down the Garden Path (2005), both at the Queens Museum of Art, New York; and Listening to New Voices (2002), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. McKenzie was awarded the 2005 William H. Johnson Prize of $25,000 for outstanding achievement by an African-American artist; and was the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2006.

The 2006-2007 Momentum series is sponsored by Sotheby's.

Momentum 8: Dave McKenzie is supported by Group Momentum: Janice and Mickey Cartin, Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg, Corinne and Tim Ferguson, Sue and Nat Jeppson, Carol and Sol LeWitt, and Marlene and David Persky.

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