a good fence, 2008

Basel 2016
Stephen Friedman Gallery, Anthony Meier Fine Arts
pine, hardware with flowers
Jim Hodges’s a good fence is an installation exploring notions of boundaries, liberation, and contemplation. Here, we encounter a twometer-high pine fence which acts as both an excluding barrier and a safe haven. We cannot see through its tightly locked wooden panels, save for one discreet door. Once through the entrance, the environment is transformed from an impenetrable fortress into a tranquil oasis: Two sofas and a coffee table invite us to congregate with one another or offer the opportunity for quiet contemplation. First presented in 2008, the work keys into Hodges’s multi-media practice exploring and exploiting everyday materials which range from the intimate to the wholly immersive. Hodges talks of his practice as choreographing experiences,’ and a good fence is a prime example of his investigations into both space and materiality. Our expectations are subverted just as the material too is transformed by the artist's touch, from a simple fence to a meditative temple.