Presented by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND)On the Verge of an Image: Considering Marjorie Keller was a group exhibition of sculpture, painting, photography, video, and performance centered on the themes present in the work of under-recognized avant-garde filmmaker Marjorie Keller (1950-1994), co-curated by Los Angeles-based artists Alika Cooper and Anna Mayer. Cooper and Mayer sought to establish the significance of Keller’s contributions to visual culture, and to make visible states of being that are difficult to articulate or are deliberately avoided by mainstream culture. The exhibition considered Keller’s insistence on occupying a position not easily consumed by a singular ideological agenda. Her films were significant in the way they make clear the primacy of bodily engagement as a place from which to critique the status quo. Cooper and Mayer chose contemporary and historical works that explore the material aspects of vision and the act of envisioning, along with artists who have created commissioned site-specific works, responding directly to these themes within the context of the Gamble House. Included works range from figurative/representational painting and film to process-based sculptural works and performances that register the presence and absence of bodies and objects. In honor of Keller’s complex relationship to the feminism of her time, On the Verge of an Image: Considering Marjorie Keller presented artworks from multiple perspectives and stances.

Chantal Akerman, Shiva Aliabadi, Vanessa Beecroft, Ashley Carter, Alika Cooper, Cheryl Donegan, VALIE EXPORT, Naomi Fisher, Nan Goldin, Trulee Grace Hall, Donna Huanca, Kartemquin Films, Marjorie Keller, Josh Mannis, Anna Mayer, Paul Pescador, Vincent Ramos, Carolee Schneemann, and Jennifer West.

The exhibition was presented at the historic Gamble House in Pasadena, CA, an outstanding example of American Arts and Crafts style architecture. The house and furnishings were designed by architects Charles and Henry Greene in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter & Gamble Company, which is a landmarked historic site for the public, owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the University of Southern California. The domestic setting and exploratory nature of navigating throughout the house to discover the works in the exhibition framed the significance of the familial and the familiar in Keller’s work.

Many thanks to Shamim Momin.