Hold Up

Hold Up

​The RYDER is pleased to present “Hold Up,” the gallery’s second solo presentation of work by British artist William Mackrell. Throughout the exhibition, there is a sense of endurance, where objects, sound, and body shift precariously between collapse and rebirth. All of the works in “Hold Up” embody a kind of vulnerability, as they try to maintain their existence under the continuous threat of their own absence. Each day at dawn, thousands of Western newspapers, art, and fashion magazines arrive at distribution warehouses in the United Arab Emirates. Before any material can be dispersed to bookstores and newsagents, a team of workers at these warehouses must scan the literature for nudity or supposed lewd images: anything deemed indecent is quickly censored out by hand using a thick black marker pen. With Cover Up (stripper with bare breasts) 2016—the artist’s first in this new series of work—Mackrell both highlights and preserves the imprint of the censorship mark by painstakingly scratching out the remainder of the magazine page’s surface with a scalpel blade. This delicate cutting away of this reproduction of a Diane Arbus photograph conceals the original image while simultaneously elevating the gestural shape of the marker scrawl.

Hold Up

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