Stanya Kahn

“Don't Go Back to Sleep”

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"...People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Dont go back to sleep."
-Rumi

"A body doesnt coincide with itself. It is already on the move. The presents boundary condition is never a closed door. It is an open threshold a threshold of potential."
-Brian Massumi, Navigating Movements

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to announce Stanya Kahn's third solo show with the gallery. This exhibition fills three gallery spaces and reflects an expansion of Kahn's practice with the premiere of the artists feature- length video, "Don't Go Back to Sleep," and two rooms of large and small drawings on canvas and paper. This new body of work raises Kahn's incisive wit to new levels of sensitivity and offers idiosyncratic insights into affect and communication in contemporary culture.

"Don't Go Back to Sleep" is an experimental narrative, made with the generous support of Grand Arts in Kansas City, Missouri and the Guggenheim Foundation. Kahn created, directed, shot, and edited the 75-minute piece. Her sound design forms a core of the films infrastructure and includes original compositions by Kahn and musician Keith Wood (of Hush Arbors and Thurston Moore's band Chelsea Light Moving). Further extending a video practice that allows fluid boundaries between the real and the fictive, between narrative and abstraction, Kahn directs an ensemble cast of mostly non-actors to perform in scripted and improvised scenarios in which their subjectivity and agency become central to the film's construction. Shooting almost entirely in Kansas City, Kahn builds darkly comedic and uncanny scenes revolving around groups of medical professionals stationed in newly-built, vacant homes as they prepare for impending emergencies. Time alternately slows and speeds as the characters are suspended in the in-between of waiting, their affective potential activated by constant uncertainty and disasters already underway.

Kahn's videos and drawings compress actions, images, and, words to make poetic jokes, often exploring rhetoric; the making of meaning and its undoing; agency and displacement. Kahn's projects often situate language in the foreground of works that are dialectically driven by the demands of the body.

Stanya Kahn was a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in Film/Video and a 2014 Artadia Grant Awardee. Forthcoming are her contributions to Gabrielle Jennings anthology on abstract video (by UCPress) and to the journals Xtra and Material. She is also at work on a new book of texts and drawings.

Don't Go Back to Sleep will screen at 5 PM on April 19th and daily throughout the exhibition at the following times:

10:30 AM
12 Noon
1:30 PM
3 PM
4:30 PM

In May 2014, Kahn will have a solo exhibition featuring "Don't Go Back to Sleep" at Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO. Other recent solo shows include The New Museum, New York, NY; The University Galleries of the University of Illinois, Normal, IL; Pigna Project Space, Rome, Italy; Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK; and Galleria Perdida/ Recess Activities, New York, NY. Recent group shows include Two Schools of Cool and the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, CA; Always Worried, ICA, London; Future Gallery, Berlin with Keren Cytter and Shana Moulton and Cherub at 2nd Cannons Project Space, LA. In 2010 her video, "It's Cool, I'm Good," won the jury prize for short fiction at the Migrating Forms Festival in NY. Her work in collaboration with Harry Dodge was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial; Code Share CAC Vilnius, Lithuania; Videonale 12, Kunstalle Bonn, GDR; Slightly Unbalanced, Harnnett Museum, Richmond, VA; in Reflections on the Electric Mirror, Brooklyn Museum of Art; Unusual Behavior, Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; California Video, Getty Museum, LA; Laughing in a Foreign Language, The Hayward, London; Between Two Deaths, ZKM/Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, GDR; Edens Edge, Hammer Museum, LA, CA; Shared Women, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA, CA; Defamation of Character, PS 1, NY; Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY; Marking Time, Getty Museum and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, CA, among others.