Saturday, October 28, 2023
Two Slide Works by Luther Price

361 Stagg Street, Suite 407, Brooklyn

On view from noon to 8pm, with a reception from 6pm to 8pm.

New Utopia, Luther Price, continuous projection of eighty handmade 35mm slides, 2017

Light Fracture, Luther Price, continuous projection of eighty handmade 35mm slides, 2017

To celebrate the release of a new Luther Price monograph from Visual Studies Workshop, Light Industry presents the first New York presentation of two of the artist’s slide works.

Price, who died in 2020, made films over four decades, beginning with Super 8 in the 1980s, then moving largely to 16mm in the early 21st century. His first movies, dreamlike scenarios that were, by turns, remarkably tender and deeply unsettling, often dealt explicitly with his working-class upbringing, featuring his mother and other family members, sometimes as performers (“Prole Art Threat,” wrote William E. Jones. “It was as though Luther lived to embody the phrase coined by Mark E. Smith.”) Over time, he would approach similar themes more obliquely, crafting works out of old gay porn and educational films, re-edited and transformed via painting as well as hole-punches, abrasions, and other generative processes of material degradation. Many of his later efforts were unique 16mm reels that had been neither reprinted nor scanned; in order to provide images of the films for festival and exhibition catalogs, he made diminutive collages on 35mm photographic slides, using bits of footage from each project.

For the 2012 Whitney Biennial, he began exhibiting these slide collages as artworks unto themselves. As with the 16mm films they sprang from, his slides were made using a variety of formal procedures, sandwiching scraps of motion-picture or still film within the larger frame alongside other elements—dust, his own skin, surgical thread, dead ants, sugar crystals. Arranging each image precisely in its carousel, he projected these pieces as looped installations in galleries and museums, or showed them theatrically one slide at a time.

In 2017 Price gave two sets of slides, entitled New Utopia and Light Fracture, to Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester with the intention of using them to produce an artist’s book with the organization. The slides, Price once remarked, “feel like film, but they also feel like paintings, and they also feel like sculpture. They fill a space in a different way. The slides have allowed me to rethink things, set myself into a new pattern of working, in a whole other format that is still projection, is still light.”


In addition to our day-long event at Light Industry, a program of Price’s Super 8 films will be screened at Anthology Film Archives in November.