Jennifer Locke

1/12/18 - 1/27/18

(Click to view video of the installation.)

(Click for images.)

(Click here for a video of a Q&A with the artist.)

Grant Wahlquist Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Locke. The exhibition will run from January 12 – 27, 2018. The gallery will hold an opening reception on Friday, January 12 from 5 – 8 pm, and a talk with the artist on Saturday, January 13 at 1 pm.


Working in performance, video, installation, and still imagery, Locke creates physically intense sculptural actions that activate the relationships between camera, audience, and architecture. She constructs performative situations that frustrate, subvert, or magnify the usual hierarchies between artist, model, camera, and audience to explore intersubjectivity, spectatorship, and the construction of meaning. In many works, she creates a separation between action and audience through the use of material barriers, live video feeds, multiple camera perspectives, wireless microphones, and mini-cameras. This iterative process of representation produces a ripple effect that flattens, repeats, echoes, amplifies, and displaces the action and turns it—and the audience’s viewing of it—into a representation of itself.


Objects II, 2015, a multi-channel looping video installation, is exemplary of Locke’s approach. Over the course of eight hours, she created five sculptures with the aid of two assistants who taped her into various positions. When each sculpture was finished, she directed the assistants to frame it with a camera and held each position for 15 minutes; each 15-minute segment constitutes one channel of Objects II. In Levitation, 2014, another multi-channel looping video installation, a figure draped in a sheet appears to levitate while Locke attempts to photograph it.


As is frequently the case, Locke incorporates the mechanics of their construction into both works. Her attention to the construction and representation of experience, like her use of the camera as sculptural apparatus, carries on the work of forebears such as Chris Burden, Juan Downey, Dan Graham, and Bruce Nauman. Yet where these artists adopted pedestrian movement (Nauman), mirrors and lectures (Graham), dancers (Downey), and daredevil stunts (Burden), Locke draws on her experiences as a dominatrix, wrestler, and artists’ model. Her work does not mask or sublimate the power differentials that are an inescapable condition of being and looking; instead, she, her collaborators, and the audience participate in a camera-enabled power exchange in which their roles constantly switch.


Jennifer Locke received a B.F.A. (1991) and M.F.A. (2006) from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her solo and two-person exhibitions include: Rocksbox Fine Art, Portland, Oregon and Pontiac, Michigan; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (collaboration with Tad Beck); Queen’s Nails Projects, San Francisco; Hallwalls, Buffalo; and Kiki Gallery, San Francisco. Her work has also been featured in group exhibitions at venues including: the Berkeley Art Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach; the Havana Biennial; the Venice Biennale; the Busan International Video Festival, Korea; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; La Panaderia, Mexico; Kunsthalle Basel; Et al, San Francisco; Canada, New York; and Air de Paris, Paris. She was twice nominated for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award. Her work is in the collection of the Kadist Art Foundation.


The gallery is located at 30 City Center, Portland, Maine. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, and by appointment. For more information, visit, call 207.245.5732, or email