b. 1966 Honolulu, U.S; lives and works in New York, U.S.
Working across video, photography, sculpture, and sound, Paul Pfeiffer’s practice focuses on the strangeness of mass media and its effect on the body and consciousness. By sampling footage of well-known entertainment events, such as sports coverage and stadium concert tours, Pfeiffer uncovers the emptiness of moments intended for mass audiences. Pfeiffer recasts and edits footage using post-production techniques, such as photo retouching, digital erasure, and looping. As a result, he heightens the act of watching the subjects, underlining the voyeuristic nature of pop spectacle. By editing the footage this way, the inherent fragility of the human form is laid bare, magnifying an everyday, mass fascination with the existential. Pfeiffer often creates immersive audiovisual installations in his exhibitions, presenting his video works alongside corporeal objects of worship.
- text by Jesse Slater
Recent solo exhibitions include Paul Pfeiffer: Still Life, ICP and MTA Arts & Design, New York (2023); Red Green Blue, The Athenaeum, University of Georgia, Athens (2023); Paul Pfeiffer: Incarnator, Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2021); Incarnator, Carlier Gebauer, Madrid (2021); Performa 19 Biennial, New York (2019); Paul Pfeiffer: Vitruvian Experiments, Inhotim Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Brumadinho (2018); Paul Pfeiffer: Incarnator, Outpost-Bellas Artes Projects, Manila (2018); Paul Pfeiffer: Desiderata, Galerie Perrotin, Paris (2018); Paul Pfeiffer: Screen Series, curated by Grace Deveney, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago (2017); Paul Pfeiffer: Caryatids, Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu (2016); and Three Figures in a Room, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong (2015). Recent group exhibitions include Strike Fast, Dance Light: Artists on Boxing, FLAG Art Foundation and The Church, Sag Harbor, New York (2023); Message from Our Planet, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation; travelled to Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA; Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI; Pensacola Museum of Art, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL; Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (2022); An Uncertain Pleasure, Bogotá Museum of Modern Art, Bogotá (2022); Double Vision, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2022); Individuals, Networks, Expressions, M+, Hong Kong (2021); 11th Seoul Mediacity Biennale: One Escape at a Time, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2021); Dear Companion, Lie Lay Lain, New York (2020); The Historian’s Craft, ICA Milano, Milan (2019); Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965-2018, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); EVIDENCE, organized by Josh Kline, Metro Pictures, New York (2018); Art in the Age of the Internet, ICA Boston, Boston (2018); and America is Hard to See, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015).
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