This series of work,“This Side Down, Damn If I Know”, draws parallels between two disparate ways of relating to information. The first way is of acceding and expecting failure before impossible tasks: a video proposes a fictive relation to gravity, loosely based on Buster Keaton’s short “The Boat” from 1921. The second is a series of drawings of the organization and fragmentation of a structural(ist) system. The drawings are both utilitarian(plans for construction) and nostalgic for the utopian impulses behind early abstraction, specifically the properties in the work around and leading up to Tatlin’s monument to the Third International of 1919.
Put together, these two lines of conjecture are meant to mirror and inflect one another like elements in a riddle: the one to futility and a kind of “endgame” nihilism, the other to utopia. As these unfold – a storm-tossed Keaton nails his feet to the deck; Tatlin yearns optimistically toward the Third Communist International – the video and the set of drawings look for ways to collapse and arrest the momentum of these impulses. As parallels that reflect, but refuse to resolve one another, they aspire to an overlooked systemic vacancy: a possible third outcome.
Artist Bio / CV
Zach Rockhill received his BFA from the University of Kansas in 1995, studied at the Scuola Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy in 1994 and received his MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts, in 2003. His work engages a broad range of mediums and practices including performance, video, drawing, photography, and sculpture. His work has been shown nationally and internationally. In 2002 he participated in the 40th anniversary of FLUXUS events in Wiesbaden, Germany, working with Geoff Hendricks to restage George Maciunas’ FLUXMASS and FLUX PROCESSIONAL. He participated in subsequent re-stagings of the FLUXMASS in Amherst, MA and co-directed the final presentation in the Voorhees chapel in New Brunswick, NJ. Recent exhibitions and performances include a performance, ‘FLUIDS,’ for the >PERFORMA 07 biennial of performance art (Curated by Rosalee Goldberg), a solo show ‘everyone alive wants answers’ (Domo gallery in Summit New Jersey), ‘Dripped, Dropped, Spilt, Upended, Exploded’ (Tracey Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver), ‘This Side Down, Damn if I Know’ (Five Myles gallery, Brooklyn, NY), ‘Drift’ (Curated by Eilleen Torpey, Bronx River Arts Center, Bronx, NY), ‘White On White’ (Performance Event, Performa Biennial, Stephen Weiss Studios, NYC, NY) ‘Weird New Jersey’ (Here Arts Center, NYC, NY) ‘Tremor_Nomad’ (City Without Walls Gallery, Newark NJ, 2005). Additionally he curates a semiannual performance event in Brooklyn, the ACTIONS series, that is in its fourth year. This year the ACTIONS event was sponsored by BAM as part of its Brooklyn Next series.
Rockhill is the recipient of a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Interdisciplinary work/performance art.
Rockhill teaches at the Cooper Union in New York City.
He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.