Frederick J. Frenger, Jr., a blithe psychopath from California, asked the flight attendant in first class for another glass of champagne and some writing materials. She brought him a cold half-bottle, uncorked it and left it with him, and returned a few moments later with some Pan Am writing paper and a white ball point pen. For the next hour, as he sipped champagne, Freddy practiced writing the signatures of Claude L. Bytell, Ramon Mendez, and Herman T. Gotlieb.
The best way to forge a signature, he knew, was to turn it upside down and draw it instead of trying to imitate the handwriting. That was the foolproof way, if a man had the time and the privacy and was forging a document or a check. Still, close enough was usually good enough for Freddy. He was not a careful person, and a full hour was a long time for him to engage in any activity without his mind turning to something else. Comfortably full, and a trifle dizzy from the wine, Freddy stretched out in the wide reclining seat, hugging the tiny airline pillow. He slept soundly until the attendant awakened him gently and asked him to fasten his seat belt for the descent into Miami International Airport.
Locust Projects is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Drew Heitzler. Heitzler’s new installation focuses on a two-channel video projection that explores the 1932 film Scarface.
Before Brian DePalma’s Miami-based remake was released in 1983, an original version of Scarface, directed by Howard Hawkes and produced by Howard Hughes, was produced in Los Angeles. For this exhibition, Heitzler edits Hawkes’ film to exclude dialog and create an abstract narrative that shifts the focus from drug and street crime to white-collar crime and government complicity.
The installation will also include appropriated photographs from the book Howard Hughes, His Life and Madness that explore how the Howard Hughes Medical Center, originally headquartered in Miami, was a tax dodge for Hughes made possible by a collaboration with Richard Nixon’s brother. The windows of Locust Projects will be lined with images from the cover of a 1974 issue of Playgirl magazine, which included an article about Howard Hughes and Richard Nixon.
Together, these works lend to the Heitzler’s practice of reconsidering histories as he assembles a series of seemingly unrelated sources to re-tell a story that was never explicitly told.
Drew Heitzler (b. 1972 in Charleston, South Carolina) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Heitzler received his MFA from Hunter College in 2000. His film based projects have been exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including Renwick Gallery, The Project, Orchard, The Swiss Institute, Sculpture Center, Anthology Film Archives, and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York; Blum & Poe, Redling Fine Art, China Art Objects, TRUDI, and LA>
This exhibition is made possible with the support from: Andy Warhol Foundation; Galt & Skye Mikesell; Hannibal Cox Jr. Foundation; Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor, and the Miami-Dade County Boardof County Commissioners. Special thanks to: Blum & Poe, Los Angeles and Renwick Gallery, New York. Design: Venture Architects.