Tears Cannot Restore Her: Therefore, I Weep
November 6 – December 18, 2010
Galleries One and Two

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Tears Cannot Restore Here: Therefore I Weep, a new film and sculpture by Jennifer Reeder.

Chicago, IL, November 6, 2010- ANDREW RAFACZ completes the 2010 schedule with Tears Cannot Restore Here: Therefore I Weep, new work by Jennifer Reeder. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through Saturday, December 18, 2010.

Over the last decade and since her inclusion in the 2000 Whitney Biennial (with her iconic Nevermind, where the artist herself lip-syncs to “”Smells like Teen Spirit”” by the 90s grunge-rock band Nirvana), Jennifer Reeder has steadily built a body of work that explores gender, identity and relationships in an often strange, complicated world. Her works have also gotten progressively longer and more narrative and have been screened in countless film festivals around the world. This is her first solo gallery exhibition in seven years. She has returned with the world premiere of a new film work and sculptural replications of props from past, present and imagined future films.

Tears Cannot Restore Here: Therefore I Weep, the title of the exhibition and the new film that is central to it, continues to explore social, political and personal identities, concerns she has had since early works such as the acclaimed White Trash Girl. The narrative depicts a female sign language interpreter that is translating a science class on electromagnetism for the deaf. It becomes clear early on that she is distressed over a lover who has left her. She begins to mistranslate the professor’s factual articulation of scientific history into reflections on her own personal history of her failed relationship. The romantic tone is heightened by the use of simple animations and an uneasy soundtrack. Music often plays a significant role, as background and foreground, in Reeder’s films (in Tears, Nicolette Larson’s popular 1978 hit “”Lotta Love”” is later referenced when one of the character’s announces “”I fucking hate Neil Young,”” the song’s composer).

Reeder has also, for the first time, installed sculptures in Gallery One that reference her filmmaking career. She has created five props, some of which figure prominently in past films and others that point to possible later projects. A severed foot, a clown nose, clown hands, an E.T. doll and a pair of tchotke beavers have all been cast in bonded marble and sit on artist-made pedestals that resemble refined versions of prop tables. On shelves attached to and leaning up against the walls are stacks of found and donated vinyl LPs, each set carefully curated by the artist, and then each individual record sewn sealed with a variance of colored felts. The results are simultaneously conceptual and painterly.

JENNIFER REEDER (American, b. 1971) lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She received her M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. She is currently the chair of the graduate studies department for the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois Chicago, where she is also an associate professor of moving image. She was nominated for the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008 Rockefeller Grants for Film/Video/New Media as well as a 2001 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award for visual art and a 2004 Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation Award. She is currently an Efroymson Family Fund Fellow. Other events include a solo screening at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm Sweden and group screenings and exhibitions at: The New York Video Festival, at The Lincoln Center; Double Heart/Hear the Art, at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria; The 2000 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art; In the Middle of Nowhere at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Generation Z at P.S.1, New York; The 48th International Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy. This is her first exhibition with the gallery. The new film we present here was partially funded by the Media Art Residency Program at the Wexner Center for the Arts and a fellowship from the Emfroyson Family Fund.