September 10 – October 22, 2017

Opening reception September 10, 4-7pm

The Pit is pleased to present Gated Snare, an installation of new work by Erik Frydenborg.

Gated Snare finds its tone in the ambient regression of the current American moment.  As appeals to remake bygone days trap us in recursive loops, we witness the distorting effects of time on our stored memories—compressed, edited, and overwritten data that gradually calcify into implausible totems. If memory makes experience into collage, then attempts to resuscitate memory anew are invitations to heavier, glitchier constructions.

Frydenborg’s sculptures are analogous, converting source collages of minced visual aids into dimensional, vaguely devotional statuary. Revisiting the swamp of his own memory, Frydenborg here explicitly invokes the Xerox paste-up culture that informed his early formal impulses. 

The re-emergence of collage in underground music graphics during the 1980s of Frydenborg’s childhood marked the resurrection of Dada from its avant-garde mausoleum into a new, living strain of Folk Art. At the 20th century’s end, Frankenstein patchworks of postindustrial imagery became standard vernacular expressions of technophobia, political disillusionment, and corporate repulsion. Frydenborg’s sculptures call back to the guileless spirit of this popularized dissent.

In the same era, such motions of no confidence played out against the backdrop of an increasingly frothy, overheated mass culture. The “gated snare” of this show’s title nods to the ubiquitous drum sound originated by Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham in 1980—a crashing, synthetically clipped beat that began as an accidental revelation, but quickly slid into omnipresence and automatism.

As this machine-assisted acoustic effect saturated the decade’s pop music landscape, its visual correlate was often represented with thermograms—temperature-based images depicting warm-blooded life, in kaleidoscopic color, against cool backgrounds. Thermography acted as a stand-in for then peak technology—an advance towards a kind of cyborg vision, pairing mechanically-enhanced sensation with a reductive, heat-seeking form of sight. This “future primitive” mode—an ambiguous collapsing of scientific, militaristic, and sexual gazes—came to typify a rudimentary notion of what it might look like to see through transhuman eyes. 

In Gated Snare, Frydenborg frames an arena of comlinked effigies within a trio of thermographic tondos.  The apparent technological connections between these inert but expectant figures are belied by the blunt anachronism of their craft. Hooked into a daisy chain of undisclosed devices, they are arrested in power-save mode, forever poised to strike. The Gated Snare looms, limiting ingress and egress—a protective fence, a cage, a fiercely guarded border.


Erik Frydenborg received a BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and an MFA from the University of Southern California. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Flash Art, and the Los Angeles Times. Frydenborg’s work has appeared in the solo exhibitions An Erik Frydenborg Omnibus at The Pit II in Glendale and Nebula Winners at Andrew Rafacz, Chicago, as well as in Brian Kokoska’s Trauma Sauna at ASHES/ASHES, Los Angeles. In 2017, Frydenborg was included in KNOWLEDGES at Mount Wilson Observatory and A Mere Sum of Parts at Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles. Other recent group exhibitions include Regina Rex and Team Gallery, New York, Rainbow In Spanish and M+B, Los Angeles, Albert Baronian, Brussels, and Shanaynay, Paris. In November 2017, his work will appear in Skip Tracer, the inaugural exhibition of M. LeBlanc, Chicago. Frydenborg lives and works in Los Angeles.