Akeroyd Collection


Shannon Ebner

b. 1971, Englewood, New Jersey, U.S; lives and works in Los Angeles, U.S.

Shannon Ebner’s works take the form of photographs and moving image that incorporate text to test, question and push the limits of language in all its poetic ambiguity. Known also as a poet, Ebner devoted part of the 1990s to writing poetry. Returning to visual media, poetry remains a source of influence and drives an enquiry into the relationship between image and text. A practice that focuses on the material qualities of the image, as a way to emphasize the distinction between it and the reality it depicts, mirrors the ambition to evoke the materiality of language itself. The work is largely an exploration of language and its sign systems, whereby signifiers are frequently detached from their contexts. This offers a critical impulse toward framing language as constitutive of the world as well as descriptive of it.

Shannon Ebner's recent exhibitions include Shannon Ebner, Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2022); Time Management Techniques: Photography from the Whitney’s Collection, 1968 – 2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2022); Tomorrow is a Different Day, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2022); Stray: A Graphic Tone, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford (2019); A Graphic Tone, kaufmann repetto, Milan (2019); Beautiful world, where are you?, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2018); Stray, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, New York, NY (2017); A Pattern to the Letter, Sadie Coles at Rebecca Camhi, Athens (2017); A Public Character, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2015); Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015); Auto Body Collision, Fondazione Memmo, Rome (2014); The Electric Comma, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2013); Ecstatic Alphabets, curated by Laura Hoptman, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2012); Shannon Ebner, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); September 11, curated by Peter Eleey, MoMA PS1, Long Island City (2011); The Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis (2011); and Shannon Ebner, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2010).

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