Notes on Looking, July 29, 2010

 North of the California Valley. No linkage

North of the California Valley. No linkage

Hello and a cheery day to you,

There are some things we simply can’t predict, my friends. Take a look around yourself now and pay attention to what’s there while you may. It can all change in the twinkling of an eye.

Our weekend in the country was wondrous. Everyone had a blast. I took no pictures, but I do have a clear vision of driving across the California Valley on 7 Mile Road: I saw, in the July heat,  mounded gray-green plant matter rising above the several shades of gold that colored dried grasses, thin-stick plants and the ground. Occasionally we crossed fingers of dusty white residue which radiated out from a dry soda lake bed – all that remained of a spring flood. There’s profound meaning waiting for me here in no-man’s-land. Time is longer than back home, and a moment can last as long as I let it. The experience eludes me until I quiet my own desires and relax my guard. Suddenly then I don’t need anything – what I hear, see and smell keeps me.

At the corner of Mocal and Shale Roads outside McKittrick. Again no link. Tell me - does life get any better?

At the corner of Mocal and Shale Roads outside McKittrick. Again no link. Tell me - does life get any better?

Despite the late in July date we are currently inundated with things to do and see. Eek. And you’ll need to bear with me a little my friends. I left much of my writing until Wednesday evening. Looming are the deadlines, scampering are the fingers. Here we go.

Perform! Now!

All over Chinatown- from Actual Size to Via Cafe (always the best food in Ctown), from The Company to 2nd Cannons and from Dan Graham to L2Kontemporary performers will be performing, artists will be arting and audiences will be participating.

Haircuts and popsicles at Actual Size (I for one can use a new styling); Flora Weigman, Amy Granat and Jmy Leary (I’m not entirely sure of the Jmy Leary link to Pieter performance space but it’s the best I can do) at Pepin Moore.

Dorit  Cypis at Dan Graham will dialogue with Graham’s legendary Performer/Audience/Mirror performance (you give me 22.52 minutes and I’ll give you the world of Dan Graham on video. Check it out – Graham on UbuWeb!).

Given the honor laden-ness of Aaron Wrinkle’s Chinatown space (keep in mind that Wrinkle has a show at Las Cienegas), named as it is after Dan Graham, and the dedicatory and questioning nature of the space’s exhibition history in relation to Graham’s own history, Cypis’ actions should make us aware of the several sorts of presence implied by Graham’s, Wrinkle’s, and her own practice as well as place our own presence(s) directly in the space of artistic action. (Whew.)

Steve Roden performing, link to Volume.

Steve Roden performing, link to Volume.

Our friends at Volume treat us to an ambitious day and night of sound work including: a series of very intimate half hour headphone performances by a diverse selection of artists from 2 pm to 7:30 pm followed by a 3 hour performance by Steve Roden. Um, yes I did say 3 hours. Morton Feldman gave this sort of durational task to a quartet. I understand we have Robert Crouch to thank for sweet talking Steve. Thanks Robert! (btw I have on pretty good authority that Roden may choose to go loud on this one. I think you better be there.)

Soooooo much good stuff. And it all starts Thursday with a modest $20  fund raising party. (think of it as a Shaker barn raising – everybody brings twenty bucks and hey presto an ambitious performance event happens before our eyes) No address for the party but I rather imagine if you go to Chinatown, park and head towards Human Resources you’ll come across revelers.

But wait! There’s more!

Staying in Chinatown and in fact simply crossing the hall from Human Resources at 510 Bernard Street on July 31 WPA LA has Swap Thing happening.  Swap Thing invites you to trade a piece of your art for one on the wall, where yours will remain until someone trades for it and so on. Check out the artist list – go through your (flat file) drawers and bring something to trade.

You’ll recall that on Saturday July 31 at 7 pm the Velaslavasay Panorama is hosting its Grand Moving Mirror of California Supper Club. Wow! Who can tell how much fun you may have dining and being scrolled?

Just in case you don’t have enough to do already… artist Vlatka Horvat under the auspices of Outpost for Contemporary Art presents her internationally renowned day long performance This Here and That There in the Los Angeles River from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, July 31. Would that I could show you images of Horvat’s production of this piece in Essen in 2009. This time on land, in an urban plaza with lots of architectural presence that her organizations of chairs play with. Nice, nice work. She’ll be arranging her chairs all day in the river under the Fletcher Street Bridge. I must give you a link to Outpost for Contemporary Art or I would be remiss. I also offer you a link to the Essen photos.

Now blatantly quoting from Outpost site: “In this performance, artist Vlatka Horvat continuously rearranges 50 chairs over a period of eight hours. Each successive chair arrangement implies a set of possible relations between their imagined occupants, evoking a range of possibilities related to human interaction – dialogue, encounter, communication, and conflict.”

This Here and That There as performed in Berlin in 2007. Link to Berlin page on Horvat's site.

This Here and That There as performed in Berlin in 2007. Link to Berlin page on Horvat's site.

I need to move along now. Please do read the various sites I’ve linked to – there are really great once-in-a-lifetime happenings all weekend in Chinatown at Perform! Now!

There’s also non-moving art to see.

Michael Williams, Brown Puzzle, 2010. Link to Canada Gallery.

Michael Williams, Brown Puzzle, 2010. Link to Canada Gallery.

Tuesday Afternoon in a Cage at Ltd Los Angeles. Hey Fellows! And all you other painting admirers out there! A painter you know (and collect) very  well, James Hayward, is teamed with several you may not (but whom you’ll be happy to meet). Jan Van Imschoot, Scott Reeder and Michael Williams from Belgium, Chicago and New York respectively.

Representing a broad spectrum of painting types (occasionally within one practice) these artists kept me looking and looking in this spare show.

Is “type” the correct word? Do paintings come in types? Abstract, representational, historic, humorous, sexy, monochrome, photo-real, gloppy, on canvas, on linen, on panel. These don’t feel like types, these words feel like faint attempts at signifiers for a thing we know but can’t say. Presence, action, image. Paintings are things that must be important to us because we keep making them, yet outside of glorying in front of one who can really describe the experience? Dunno. I don’t know where that all came from, either. Go see the show. Reception on Saturday, July 31 5 to 8 pm with performances, hot dogs and beer going until midnight. Don’t get any mustard on the Haywards.

Jan Van Imschoot, Where to Powder the Nose, 2010. No link.

Jan Van Imschoot, Where to Powder the Nose, 2010. No link. Not so much in this image but in life that toilet resembles the little French girl Lulu in her round hat from books I read as a boy. I kind of like the weird things this brings up.

Now head south to Culver City and find Stille Post: 7 Curators 7 Artists at Kinkead Contemporary. Good artists, good curators. Good, time honored way to make a summer show: Kate Barclay, Scott Marvel Cassidy, Peter Harkawik, Christopher Russell, Alex Sanchez, Craig Stecyk, and Laurie Steelink are the artists. Ooh gee you’re going to have to follow the link to Kinkead to find out more. It’ll be worth your while.

So. Instead of writing a current Notes this week I devoted some time to updating Notes on Looking blog. Yay me! Now I’m going to tantalize you with promises of ever more images of work by artists we all know and admire, better linkage, sneaky little rejuvenations to my already enthusiastic and insightful prose. Yes! You will find out the latest about several artists. As I cut and past I find it necessary to (you guessed it) spend time cruising the Internet in search of newer, better, shinier facts and links and pictures. As P.T. Barnum used to say, “You will be amazed!”

Notes on Looking, March 11, 2010

Exciting news about Steve Roden; images from Shells, Prisms show at Glendale of work by Maya Lujan, Alice Clements; images from Mostly Sculpture at Sea and Space with images of work by Alice Konitz, Patrick Hill, Brett Lund and Heather Cook; way more images than in the original post; good words on Steve Roden performance at Redcat; the Brinkmanship show at Redcat. Eek. Go look.

Notes on Looking, April 1, 2010

More William Wegman images! Much news about Kristin Calabrese exhibitions. More and better Roger White images! Yay! A Tris Vonna-Michell Two-fer! A new blog – And A Half. You need to see this for yourself! (Look in one of the Vonna-Michell photos) Eric Lindley and Sherin Guirguis images. More great words, this time about Queer Territory at Sea and Space and The First Thing at Redling. David Horvitz! The actual 2:59 minute clip from the Saturday Night Live original cast show when Chevy Chase announced and reaffirmed the continuing death of Franco! This one too one year and ten minutes to locate. Good grief! Go now and read and look and click your heart out.

So yeah, modest as it sounds folks that reposting represents 4 hours of work. There it is, take it.

Have a great weekend and always know I’m happiest when you’re reading Notes!

Geoff Tuck

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