Margie Schnibbe – Indecent Exposure
Setting aside its legal ‘term of art’ implications, ‘Indecent Exposure’ – the collective title of this mini-retrospective of Margie Schnibbe’s films and videos – could simply be a term for the tribulations (and occasional trials) of everyday life – random hazards anyone might conceivably be exposed to. How we negotiate those thresholds and boundaries is where we construct meaning – the stuff life might hypothetically be ‘about.’ As an existential ‘incarnation’ of such threshold experience, sex inevitably becomes a focal point of such inquiry – and so it is here. Effectively bracketing and cross-examining the legal reading of such ‘exposures,’ Schnibbe’s sexually explicit videos and films address their underlying intentions and results – both frequently at cross-purposes with one another – to subtle yet hilarious effect. As an artist and director with hands-on experience in the pornography industry, Schnibbe has an acute awareness of where the exchange can break down. This is less ‘philosophy in the bedroom,’ than it is an immersive, fully conscious encounter with life brought to a frothy head in some hot transactions within the privileged, toy-strewn confines of artist studios, S/M dungeons and (naturally) bedrooms – including the artist’s own. Her earliest videos, including the classic Mistress Samantha Diet Doctor (1994) (made while Schnibbe herself was engaged in similar sex work), and the solarized, psychedelic First Date (1997), are a primer to her style and approach – and its philosophical dimension. (Consider the Heidegger voice-over for Art Farm (1995).) Throughout, the work is alive to its humor, erotics, ironies, absurdities and pathos. Schnibbe’s work continues to blur (implicitly sexual) personal and political boundaries within an open-ended philosophical approach. In one of the more recent offerings (culled from a Showtime telecast), Schnibbe tells the viewers, “Sex is a gift we are given, and we should all just have fun with that.” Even for those of us inclined to view it as a random chemical accident, these videos are not only fun, but a point from which to refresh our own fault-line encounters with life.
Human Resources (HRLA)
410 Cottage Home Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Show runs thru April 23, 2017