Jason Hirata: Optium LH-3m

November 22, 2013 – January 5, 2014

Episode 3 in Frye Salon, 2013–14 season.

In response to context, Jason Hirata presents new sculptural manifestations of his camera support modification videos installed in an optimized white environment.

With its first exhibition in 1893, the Munich Secession began to radically alter exhibition practices. In stark contrast to the crowded, salon-style exhibitions of the time, the Secession galleries had light-colored walls and paintings were hung sparely. This exhibition design, a prototype for the “white cube” format ubiquitous today, created the optimal platform for displaying the most current developments in art.

Evident in the Secession exhibitions was a spirit of experimentation, variety, and individualism—a spirit that was apparent not only in the stylistic diversity among Secessionist artists, but also within the oeuvre of a single artist. This ability to reconcile apparently contradictory concerns and practices distinguished the artists of the Secession and ensured their place in the emergence of the Modern.

From his earliest successes in the first decade of the twenty-first century to the present, Jason Hirata’s practice has oscillated between the optimized and the inefficient in both subject matter and presentation strategy. Although the contradictions in the subjects and even styles of Hirata’s works could be interpreted as reflecting ambivalence in his attitude towards making art after the modern era, Hirata’s practice embraces rather than rejects the shifting platforms and audiences of his day. Hirata’s oeuvre can thus be understood as a programmatic manifesto for a new era of epochal disjuncture marked by rapid social and technological transformation.

Jason Hirata: Optium LH-3m is organized by the Frye Art Museum and curated by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker and Scott Lawrimore. The exhibition is funded by the Frye Foundation with the generous support of Frye Art Museum members and donors. Seasonal support is provided by 4Culture, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and ArtsFund.

Jason Hirata. Installation views of Optium LH-3m, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

“Hirata writes his own rules of engagement and participation. …there’s a palpable sense of pleasure and mischievousness that seduces.”

Amanda Manitach, City Arts

“Looks like a great exhibit.”

Tabb Firchau, Freefly