Ian Addison Hall
The View From Everywhere
Mixed Greens is thrilled to present a large-scale, site-specific window installation by Brooklyn-based artist Ian Addison Hall. The installation calls to mind the ubiquitous gym windows seen around the city where people of all shapes and sizes can be viewed toiling away on elliptical machines and treadmills, gazing down at the street below.
For several years, Hall has consciously noted the various environmental and behavioral patterns he and his fellow New Yorkers encounter daily. As a result, he has several ongoing photographic series cataloguing curbside garbage, people sleeping in public, discarded mattresses, and the views through holes in construction sites. All the photos are taken with 35mm film and collaged, by hand, using either found imagery or accidental snapshots of the inside of his camera bag. The low-tech nature of the work provides a depth and feeling hard to simulate using Photoshop.
The proliferation of street-facing gym windows in New York City is the pattern Hall focuses on for The View From Everywhere. Hall’s fascination with gym-goers in windows dovetailed with his interest in a little known program created by UNESCO shortly after World War II. The purpose of the program was to prevent an apocalyptic third world war by promoting intercultural understanding.
This piece combines images from vintage Sears, JC Penny, Alden, and Spiegel catalogues from the 1970s that stress mass-marketed American individualism within a very narrow cultural and stylistic focus. For the windows, Hall isolates ads from the catalogues that focus on fitness. With slogans such as “Fitness is the Key to Health” juxtaposed with a woman sitting gingerly on a “progress-a-cyzer,” Hall provides us with a humorous take on fad, fashion, and fitness. Following World War II, many thought the cause of international conflict was humanity’s failure to recognize the ideals of a world community are grounded in common values. By extending the colored leotards to cover the entire figure, save their hair and features, Hall emphasizes the same-ness of the individuals, patterns, and activities involved.
Ian Addison Hall was born and raised in West Virginia and currently resides in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Using photography and found imagery, his work brings to light underlying values that we all share. Hall has shown his work at galleries including The Invisible Dog, Recession Art Gallery, Like the Spice Gallery, and Proteus Gowanus, all in Brooklyn, NY. The Wassaic Project included him in their sixth annual summer exhibition called Homeward Found, United Photo Industries featured him in this year’s THE FENCE exhibition, and Humble Arts Foundation brought his work to the Flash Forward Festival in Boston, MA. In 2012, he completed a large commission for the Dumbo Arts Festival. His works have been written about in the Huffington Post, Beautiful/Decay, and Make Space. They have appeared in The Pattern Base, Carpark Magazine, and Overlook Magazine.
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