Custom Car Commandos



Mar 7, 2009
Public Program
Liam Gillick Lecture
Mar 5, 2009
Special Event
SoHo Night, Armory Edition
Jan 16, 2009–Mar 7, 2009
Custom Car Commandos

Custom Car Commandos

Lars Mathisen, Nancy Davenport, Alex Villar, Angie Waller, Dexter Sinister, Liam Gillick
Curated by Sandra Skurvida

Custom Car Commandos reflects the perceptions of the American industrial moment by interrelating the auto industry and the image industry. Kenneth Anger’s short film Kustom Kar Kommandos of 1965 provides an historical touchstone for the current exhibition, invoking relationships between cars, power, dominance, and desire. Nancy Davenport, Lars Mathisen, Alex Villar, and Angie Waller address various aspects of car culture in their video works. Artist Liam Gillick’s research into the concept of the “experimental factory” charts the conceptual trajectory of the exhibition, presented in the closing lecture, and a publication will be produced in collaboration with Dexter Sinister.

Custom Car Commandos is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; DaNY Arts; and the Danish Arts Agency.

About the Artists

Nancy Davenport’s work has been exhibited at a variety of venues including the Liverpool Biennial 08, the 10th Istanbul Biennial, the Gardener Art Center (UK), the 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo, MIT List Arts Center (Mass.), the First Triennial of Photography & Video at the International Center of Photography (NY) and the de Singel International Kunstcentrum (Antwerp). Her work has appeared in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America, October, Frieze, and “Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography” (Phaidon Press). Her own writing has been published in October Magazine and in “Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography”, edited by Karen Beckman and Jean Ma (Duke University Press).

Liam GIllick (b. England, 1964) lives and works in New York and London. As artist, critic, curator, designer, and writer, his work includes: public projects, critical and theoretical writings, design objects and graphic materials, films, musical scores, and fine artworks. Central to this multidimensional practice is the artist’s ongoing research of past and present evaluations of the aesthetics of social systems with a focus on modes of production rather than consumption. Through his own writings and the use of specific materials in his artworks, Gillick examines how the built world carries traces of social, political and economic systems.

Lars Mathisen (b. Denmark, 1957) lives and works in Copenhagen and New York. He recently exhibited in Technically Sweet at Participant in New York; as well as Sao Paulo Biennial; Malmo Konsthall; Vienna Secession; INK, Copenhagen; Sparwasser, Berlin, and other international venues.

Dexter Sinister is the compound name of David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey. David graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1993, Yale University in 1999, and went on to form O-R-G , a design studio in New York City. Stuart graduated from the University of Reading in 1994, the Werkplaats Typografie in 2000, and co-founded the arts journal Dot Dot Dot the same year. David currently teaches at Columbia University and Rhode Island School of Design. Stuart is currently involved in diverse projects at Parsons School of Design (NYC) and Pasadena Art Center (LA).

Alex Villar (b. Brazil, 1962) lives and works in New York City. He received his MFA from Hunter College in 1998 and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study program in 2000. In addition to his numerous public projects, such as Waste Management and Catching Up, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; his work has been shown at widely at national and international institutions, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Menil Collection, Drawing Center, Exit Art, and Apexart in New York.

Angie Waller and her online presence, couchprojects, document a compelling set of cultural interventions in commercialism, popular taste, and social networks. A Texan originally, Angie lives and works in New York. Her videos, books and web projects have exhibited internationally, including: The New York Underground Film Festival, New York; The New Museum, New York; The Bronx Museum, New York; Sundance Film Festival, Utah; Milano Film Festival, Italy; The Edith Russ Site for Media Art, Germany; Shanghai Duolon Museum of Modern Art, China; Walter Phillips Gallery at Banff Centre, Canada; Impakt Online, Netherlands; ?and Biennale of the Moving Image, Switzerland. ?Her mobile phone project, clip-fm, was awarded the Telecommunication Art Award at the Split Film Festival, Croatia.

Guest curator Sandra Skurvida situates her curatorial practice between the public and the institutional. She previously curated Soapbox by Pia Lindman (NYC, 2008); Waste Management by Alex Villar (NYC, 2007); Art Container (NYC, 2002); and a number of exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the 1990s. Her area of scholarly expertise is avant-garde art of the 1960s and 1970s, including a doctoral dissertation on Carolee Schneemann (2006) and current research on John Cage.

Custom Car Commandos reviewed in The New York Times
Full text of The New York Times review here

Custom Car Commandos on Gallery Crawl
Full text of the Gallery Crawl review here


  • Rosenberg, Karen. “Art in Review: Custom Car Commandos,” The New York Times, February 17, 2009. Link to article.