Petra Cortwright : Cam Worls. UTA Artist Space. Los Angeles. Photos


Petra Cortright
FEBRUARY 24 – APRIL 7, 2018

“UTA Artist Space is pleased to present CAM WORLS, the first large-scale survey of Petra Cortright’s video work. Fifty of the artist’s videos, made between 2007 and 2017, will be on display, including eighteen never-before-exhibited artworks. The gallery will celebrate with an opening reception on Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 5-7PM.

Cortright’s computer-based practice pioneered a new kind of internet art. The videos in the show will trace the gradual evolution of her online presence, and a practice of perpetual modulation of over ten year of internet ephemera that mines decorative motifs from flowers to the female body. The archival impulse behind her work stresses the visual catchiness and mutability of the digital image, as well as the delicate and self-conscious act of putting oneself “online.” As an artist who “grew up on the internet,” Cortright carefully erects and investigates online trends of personhood as they appear in the culture, from the front-facing camera antics of solipsistic young girls on social media to virtual strippers.

In the back gallery, Cortright’s mind_candy_pfaffs (2015) will loop on a projector. This thornily feminist video depicts cookie-cutter girls from the software VirtuaGirl, “a unique technology of video incrustation that displays videos of sexy girls directly on your taskbar, with no background, just as if they were living inside of your screen.”

The aesthetic of Cortright’s DIY one-woman videos—in which she plays variations of the director, star, and video editor—feels intimately homemade, more akin to a patchwork quilt than an appropriative collage of raw pixels. The work is created using myriad technologies, from open-source screensaver software, green screens, virtual strippers and photoshop, to sublime CGI landscapes. It’s cut down to two-minute experiences, self-referentially ideal for internet consumption by an audience riddled with attention deficit disorders. Her distinctive digital bricolage investigates investigates an ongoing conversation about vanity, personhood, and beauty through the lens of the internet.

Petra Cortright lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY (2008) and the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2004). Selected exhibitions include: “Electronic Superhighway,” Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); The Metabolic Age, MALBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; “On YouTube. Kunst und Playlists aus 10 Jahren,“ Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; “Im Inneren der Stadt,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany; Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinberg, Russia (2017); 1301PE, Los Angeles; City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (both solo, 2017); Carl Kostyál, London, UK (solo, 2016); Ever Gold Projects, San Francisco (solo, 2018 and 2016); Depart Foundation, Los Angeles (solo, 2015); Foxy Production, New York, NY (solo, 2017 and 2015); Société, Berlin, Germany (solo, 2014 and 2016); Frieze Film, Frieze London, UK; 12th Bienniale de Lyon, France (both 2013); Preteen Gallery, Mexico DF (solo, 2011), and the Venice Bienniale (2009).”


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