racecar - Jenny Gagalka


August 3 – September 8, 2018


friendsh.jp presenting Loss Shopper with Jenny Gagalka, Beaux Mendes, and William Wasserman within the walls of Good Weather's exhibition at Monaco from Aug 3–Sep 8, 2018.

Good Weather is excited to present Jenny Gagalka’s second solo exhibition with the gallery at Monaco in St. Louis. racecar is a palindrome built around the title of Gagalka’s first show with the gallery—E—a letter that acts as a stand-in for everything: the constant rhythm of everyday, the earth turning ’round the sun, and the eternal cycle that we embrace and ostensibly race. 

In racecar, the space is anchored by a suite of five double-sided paintings of camels that run parallel and equidistant to one other. The installation produces a stereoscopic effect: a camel race. The painted surfaces combine flashe paint and window tint film on plexiglas. At once see-through and reflective, the paintings work to disrupt, conjoin, and confuse one another. As they have no front or back, both sides exist simultaneously. 

The paintings move rapidly from cool to hot, from order to disorder, from representation to abstraction—as a body, they contain a range of extreme states. The camels in the paintings and the paintings themselves are extremophiles—organisms that thrive in physically drastic conditions that are detrimental to most life on earth. The motifs recall a place somewhere else, hot for sure, from ancient times, present, or far far future. The synthetic event seems horrific, an impossible fantasy, or a futuristic event set in the scene of the ancient. 

The race is happening right now and yet it is unknown who is in the lead and who lags. The beginning and end are not fixed. Together they form a caravan moving to the left in unison if approached at one end, and concurrently migrating to the right if one maneuvers in the other direction. As viewers, we move around and between these rushing camels. 

Camel racing nowadays consists of a robotic jockey saddled between the humps of a hopeful camel. Unlike a horse race track, this track is not circular, instead it runs a straight line next to another lane where SUVs drive along side carrying a passenger with remote control in hand to signal a small whip. This image of a camel stepping on its own foot is sourced from a mural at the Al-Wathba racetrack. It has an ancient look yet is only a decade old.

Jenny Gagalka (b. 1984 Vancouver, British Columbia) lives in Los Angeles, California. She recently graduated from the MFA program at UCLA in Painting & Drawing and is currently a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

PastAlyssa Knowling