Notes on Looking, July 22, 2010
Hello my friends,
A quiet weekend it was, here on the Western Frontier. Sweetness, my trusty steed Die Spinne and I mostly lounged. It is after all July. But:
Late on Saturday afternoon we headed out to Westwood and the Hammer Museum. I’m surely not the first person to tell you to see Outside the Box: Edition Jacob Samuel, 1988 – 2010 but I’m not going to let the possible redundancy of this information stop me. Prints are wonderful objects. Honestly, one is able to feel quite as much of the artist’s hand and person in these modest works on paper as there is in any large and glory grabbing painting. (Nothing against glory grabbing paintings! They deserve all that glory. It’s just there’s room in our hearts for more.) Being in the galleries made me go all quiet and focused, almost holding my breath.
In fact as it was Machine Project’s Bell Days at the museum all visitors were belled as though we were cats. In this one exhibit out of the several we visited every person I observed was holding on to their bell to silence the the tiny and tinny peals. It was that precious and hushed a moment.
So I don’t ramble on I’m going to link so that Samuel and various of the artists involved can tell you, show you, play for you, their ideas (each of these links are really slow downloads so be patient):
Meredith Monk on piano and vocals with Samuel describing their project. Incredibly sweet 2 minutes.
Matt Mullican “8 Dead Twos!! In a Box! That Person did it! Not me Not me Not me!!”
Matthew Monahan: Samuel shares a story of meeting the young student Monahan on a train in Antwerp.
Marina Abramovic interestingly used her time making the prints as a performance and as a simultaneous documentation of that performance.
There are more short documentary videos from Outside the Box at the Hammer Watch and Listen site. For one reason or another of the 7 artists the Hammer videoed, 6 have names beginning with “m” and I’ve only selected several of the “m”s. Go figure. Go watch and listen!
Is there more at the Hammer? Good gracious yes there is!
Stephen G. Rhodes in the Vault Gallery.
(Someone I don’t recall once told me a story of visiting Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester in the Vault Gallery when she was a girl. The Codex is why the Vault exists. Armand Hammer built it when he owned what was briefly called the Hammer Codex. I guess it’s OK that the (sale of the) Codex is the reason contemporary art exists as such a rich trove at the Hammer. Our loss hurts none the less. No judgment of the Hammer’s decision – they chose to focus on contemporary art. Still – I’d like to see the Codex in that space. Link is to an American Museum of Natural History 1997 exhibition of Da Vinci’s notebook, not the most recent exhibition but the most complete site I could find.)
Eric Baudelaire in the film project space.
Diana Al-Hadid in the lobby project space.
Friederich Kunath salon style all over the stair walls and lobby mezzanine (and in the air over your head, too)
Greg Lynn in a new series of architectural and design projects slated to occupy sundry parts of the museum over the next few years guest curated by an architecture historian, Sylvia Lavin. Lynn gives us a cheerful, splashing fountain in the courtyard for his four months of Hammer fame. A four minute twenty second “Rorschach Test” with Lynn is waiting for you here.
Selections from the Contemporary Collection are sort of side by side with the Impressionists and Oldish Masters upstairs across the way from the space everybody usually visits.
Apropos nothing except maybe a desire to resemble one of those tony college alumni newsletters I offer you my Summer Recommended Reading List (of one):
An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by Cesar Aira. Link to friendly New Directions Publishing. Great consideration of Aira’s talents at in an undated review by Marcello Ballve in The Quarterly Conversation and a Winter 2009 Bomb Magazine interview by Maria Moreno. (Oh wait – I meant to say, “That most readable and linkable of journals, Bomb Magazine. Get yourself a copy now or subscribe for heaven’s sake!” (No they don’t pay me for this. No one does.)
I found this beautiful and remarkable novel while doing one of my non-rational intuitive (is this redundant?) searches of the LA Library’s online catalog – for this one using the name of writer Roberto Bolano. Deeply grateful am I that serendipity brought me to it! Enjoy.
Now I’d like to take a break from recounting my art adventures and offer a huge shout and hug of congratulations to the 2010 California Community Foundation Arts Fellowship Recipients:
Iva Gueorguieva link to Angles
Suzanne Lacy promised link to Artdaily.org
Noni Olabisi Myspace interview
Julie Orser a link to Orser’s page on CCF website
What an amazing treat it is to be reminded of the work of artists on this list with whom we’re familiar and also to have a reason to learn about the artists we may not recognize. Thank you CCF for rewarding great work when you see it and for inspiring us to look even more closely! Awesome job.
If you have a moment this weekend there are a few things you’ll want to do:
Friday, July 23 at 8 pm the Velaslavasay Panorama presents The Grand Moving Mirror of California. The panorama is housed in a long ago silent movie house and in the theater, on the old stage a giant hand-painted scroll will be unrolled before your eyes by active human participants. Imagine – hundreds of feet of painted scenes depicting brave settlers rounding the Cape and wagon training over land to reach the prize of the 19th century: California’s 1849 Gold Rush. Eek! Actors will be speaking roles from an actual 19th century script that originally accompanied a similar event your great-great-grandparents may have seen. How much more fun can one have? Showing every Friday and Saturday at 8 pm through August 21.
Calendrically preceding the preceding event, Thursday July 22 Redcat opens their annual New Original Works Festival. They have a huge and impressive line up this year as always. This weekend Maureen Huskey The Exile of Petie DeLarge and Killsonic: Tongues Bloody Tongues will… um, delight and disturb us. Of Tongues Bloody Tongues (described online as thirty musicians under the direction of Saddam Hussein orchestrate the history of Iraq under British rule) a friend has told me “This experimental opera of cacophonous and fantastical proportions will be EPIC. Spread the word and the NOISE.” Thusly I am. Possibly those among you who weren’t sated by LA Opera’s recent Wagner fest will desire this? Links are to Redcat, a Culturebot interview with Huskey and Killsonic site.
Another Thursday event. My favorite out of town space, Fourteen30 in Portland is hosting the first in a series of dialogues held internationally (nay Geoffrey – universally!) via Skype this Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Artist Grier Edmundson and writer John Motley will dig deeply into Edmundson’s practice and his work to reveal some of the ideas that lead him and hopes that drive him to make art. How do I know this talk will be as good as I’m promising? Because I’m the clever puppy who took his own advice (scroll to the bottom) of several months ago and wrote a nice email to Gallery Director Jeanine Jablonski requesting copies of the essay/poster combo that Motley has written for each of the exhibitions this year. If you’re jealous you don’t have copies of these probing essays, well you should be! Take my advice next time or send an email now to [email protected] What cool stuff people do.
Human Resources Friday, July 23 at 9 pm: Alex Maslansky, Emily Lacy, Erica Cho. I truly don’t know more than this. Well except as you’ll see if you follow links Maslansky’s band the Horse Thieves claim modestly that Bob Dylan warned them not to name drop. Lacy makes beautiful sounds (I know because I just listened) and has performed almost everywhere. Cho makes animated films and videos, has shown… a lot and will be presenting new work at this Human Resources event.
Human Resources, 510 Bernard St., Chinatown, 90012
A space called Jaus. House. Friday, July 23 6:30 to 9:30 pm. Confes(s)ion(e)s: 6 Artists Working in Tijuana curated by Marcela Quiroz will feature the work of Mely Barragán, Miguel Fernández, Hugo Lugo, Mayra Huerta, Daniel Ruanova, Shinpei Takeda. I quote from Quiroz’s pithy essay announcing the show, “Having found among the artists selected a common resonance in the urge to transform the irreducible category of that which calls itself “the truth” into a genre in crisis that needs to confess its downfalls and failures; this curatorial proposal acknowledges life when its present reality is distant even from the possibility of recognizing its own contours.” Quiroz herself quotes Maria Zambrona and in English.
Jaus, 11851 La Grange Ave., LA, 90025 by appointment only other than openings [email protected]
Moving briefly into the more distant future Mieke Marple, one of our more intrepid (and web savvy) independent curators presents Musee Los Angeles (someday I’ll figure out how to insert symbols in WordPress but until then you’ll need to use your imagination to see the accent above the first “e”)
I bet the exhibition will be as much fun as the website. To give you a taste: Brian Butler offers us a Rhoadesian (Jasonian?) teeny bopper asphyxiation spree; Jacob Stewart-Halevy constructs then abandons a 50 minute mystery / reflection on the aporial experience of time during travel and much else in life; Lesley Moon ruminates on Beverly Hills, shopping, one’s nostalgie for a past one may not have experienced and finally pronounces, “We can conclude within the slipstream – the object, the manner and the means switching and drifting under a veil of gold. Bijan laughs.”
There is much much more. For instance, possibly in anticipation of OCMA’s presentation of the Jack Goldstein retrospective Karl Haendel shows us Goldstein’s film The Knife and write interestingly about Goldstein’s work. (By the way, yes Sarah Bancroft is amazing. We know it, she knows it. OCMA is so lucky and so are we.)
Musee Los Angeles, August 8 to 29. Reception on the 8th from 4 to 8 pm. 1451 E 4th Street 2nd Floor, LA, 90033
Speaking with a friend while at the party for Kori Newkirk’s exhibition at Country Club (yes we went saw the show, no I’m not going to tell you anything about it – Kori made me promise not to! You’ll just have to see it for yourself. Email [email protected] or call John Knuth at 323-658-8522 to make your appointment now.) (Well maybe just one thing: Guest is a great piece. This large format image of a death row prisoner downloaded from the Internet leans against a wall in the sitting room glowering at you with weird eyes like it is staring at you “from a place that you’re not” as Kori put it. Mr. Prisoner manages to call into question the pristine, civilized surroundings of Modernist architecture making you wonder whether our longing for white rooms and “good design” isn’t rather… Fascistic or something.) but back to my friend: This woman, a sculptor, remarked to me that she had been going through her sketchbooks reviewing and considering again ideas from the past year. She’s finding, she says, that her sketchbook is a year ahead of her practice. Indeed. With this thought in mind I visited Latned Atsar this evening to see Larval Stages, the artist’s space inaugural show.
Latned Atsar is the project of Alexandra Wetzel and Nathan Danilowicz and the space is located in what was previously (here’s where we figure out the name) Rasta Dental. Wetzel has her BFA from USC 2008 and Danilowicz an MFA from UCLA 2007.
The show – Larval Stages – offers us a look into the working methods of the artists involved and also a chance to tease out some of the ideas they are working toward. Several pieces are preliminary or supporting sketches or maquettes of work underway – in two cases artists with well established careers seem to be striking out into completely new territory; I understand from Wetzel, my host, each artist is working out of interest and not for a planned exhibition.
These are not modest toss off ideas either: one is working toward completion of a large complicated sculpture in bronze and the other is coordinating a full body casting to include in a larger sculpture. In a particularly interesting move an artist brought ephemera and detritus from his studio and spent the night in the gallery, essentially conceptualizing and completing an installation on site. It’s a really great work, too! Much of what I saw made me want to see more and in fact – if anyone out there is thinking of asking me for suggestions for studios to visit I’ll say – check the list below. First go see this show. Put Latned Atsar on your radar. Come back again.
Latnet Atsar, 3222 W. Jefferson Blvd., LA, 90018. [email protected]
I leave you with the names of the artists in Larval Stages, mostly linked. Sorry if I missed your site, I swear I’ll get it next time.
Patrick Jackson and Francois Ghebaly Gallery
Thanks for reading, I look forward to seeing you again next week when I get back from Parkfield.