Off-road racing, music, coastal vistas, and autobiography were the materials with which Sean Duffy explored Southern California culture and landscape in Searcher. With these elements, Duffy created a narrative defined by oil and sea, two fluids through which mid to late twentieth century California lifestyle was made possible—the recreational use of the sea and the burgeoning consumer culture based on cheap oil. The central work that tied the entire exhibition together was Duffy’s recreation of the 1964 Toyota Land Cruiser, which is based on a car Duffy’s father used to race along the southern coast of California and Mexico.
Oscillating between the past and the present, the exhibition was held together by objects from Duffy’s own history that have been re-contextualized, reconfigured, and reassembled creating a new kind of multi-generational dialogue. Throughout the exhibition, familiar objects like car parts, turntables, and jerry cans, were altered and mutated to reference Duffy’s childhood. Constituting a hybridized moment from the past, Duffy’s objects delivered up new potential meaning today.
Sean Duffy was born in 1966 in San Diego and currently lives and works in Valencia, California. Duffy received his BA in Visual Arts and Political Science from University of California, San Diego, and his MFA from University of California, Irvine. Duffy is a recipient for the City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowship for 2010, and he has recently exhibited solo exhibitions at the Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Berlin, Germany, Miami Art Museum, Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State University, Los Angeles, Howard House, Seattle, and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.
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