Artist Project: Lauren Mackler and Josh Peters – La Californie

Adam Janes, foreground. Michael Dee, background on television monitor.

Adam Janes, foreground. Michael Dee, background on television monitor.

Public Fiction is hosting an intimate survey of Los Angeles art. The exhibit is titled ‘La Californie’ and focuses on current, might we even say ascendant, artists here in our fair city. ‘La Californie’ was the name of the villa in the South of France which Picasso moved into in the 1950s, using its art deco living room as his studio. Here the name is used to lend foreignness and exoticism to this foreign and exotic state which has called these artists from all over the country.

For the first time ever, the wonderful sumi ink drawings of Steve Canaday, pulled from diary-like notebooks made every month since 2008, will be shown. The other painters will show paintings;  Annie Lapin, Rebecca Morris, and Fritz Chesnut will have slathered, stroked, and stained (respectively) canvases on view.

Inspired by the communal (and Dionysian) spirit of California, Adam Janes and his friends Justin Miller and Brandon Engstrom  have created a still that distills moonshine, Michael Dee has created a video that taps into the eternal west-coast quest for golden psychedelic sounds and Davida Nemeroff has created an installation of large scale photographic prints and mirrors.

Annie Lapin, left. Rebecca Morris, right.

Annie Lapin, left. Rebecca Morris, right.

La Californie, installation view.

La Californie, installation view.

THE GOLD RUSH / MANIFEST DESTINY.

The materials may change but the ambition remains the same: substitute gold for citrus, celebrity, space, light, and freedom.

“A strong sense of duty imprisons you.”

Fritz Chesnut, painting, left. Adam Janes, the rest.

Fritz Chesnut, painting, left. Adam Janes, the rest.

This fall, The Gold Rush / Manifest Destiny series at the Museum of Public Fiction will unravel in three parts of one story. The first, La Californie, is named after Picasso’s Mediterranean Villa. This exhibition will contain the work of eight California-based artists whose work swells with searching, SoCal colors, entrepreneurialism, invention, and fame.  The second part will transforms the museum into a Californian hotel, with a rotating cast of East-coast artists who will travel West to vacation, perform, and make souvenirs within it’s walls. The third will be a landscape, a post-quake set, a hollywoodian facsimile of LA.

“Does the invocation of any form of pleasure, visual or otherwise, align curatorial practice with the evil forces of entertainment?” 

Maybe.

But pleasure, like gold, is a difficult promise to keep.

Davida Nemeroff, photograph and mirror.

Davida Nemeroff, photograph and mirror.

Davida Nemeroff, left. Stave Canaday, right, on wall. Daylight, by nature, entering through window.

Davida Nemeroff, left. Stave Canaday, right, on wall. Daylight, by nature, entering through window.

 

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notes:

1. Manifest Destiny was first used in 1840 by Journalist John L. O’Sullivan to define the divine motive leading americans West. Apparently unfazed by the contradiction in the terms; to manifest means to strike with your hand, to provoke, and destiny is an inexorable happening (which does not need any help), the masses migrated West to the beautiful/deceitful landscape of California. A landscape that has the potential to blend days into years and ambition into ennui.

2. The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall in Coloma, California. His efforts to keep his shiny findings quiet were rapidly defeated by rumors spreading across the country and over the ocean. By 1849, the Gold Rush drew hundreds of thousands westward in an impulse sparked by idealism and complicated by greed.

PUBLIC FICTION is a small and shapeshifting museum. You may find this polymorphous site for artistic practice at 749 Avenue 50, Los Angeles CA  90042.

In the model of cabinets curiosity – the shows combine made & found things to create slightly unusual environments to frame art, artifact and facsimile in one fictional place.

Lauren Mackler is the human presence behind this wonderful fiction. Additional Mackler projects may be viewed here.

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