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Sur: Biennial, Dates y Mariposas

With PST’s L.A. Xicano exhibits now open in several different institutions and Latinos taking over Aztlan, it’s actually quite hard to keep up with the amount of shows and events happening en cada esquina by a Latino/a artist.  All I can say about that is Viva la raza! Outpost for Contemporary Art’s Sur: Biennial 2011 opened last week with simultaneous receptions at three different venues, definitely off the beaten art walk track.  Executive Director and curator Ronald Lopez chose to have this biennial in Whittier and Cerritos, as these are predominantly Latino communities on the east side of Los Angeles that traditionally have not seen major art exhibitions.  The Biennial showcases artists inspired by cultures south of the border. The race was on as my goal was to visit all three locations in one evening.  At Cerritos College are the works of Elana Mann, Raul Baltazar, Gustavo Godoy, Karla Diaz, and Jane Castillo. Upon entering the gallery, Gustavo Godoy’s sculpture comes to life as it welcomes guests.  As a child, Gustavo visited many building construction projects with his father, an architect.  This definitely is apparent in his work as the materials used are those found on construction sites, such as wood and metal.  But what may be scraps for some becomes a beautiful, dynamic and organic structure that plays with form and space.  According to Gustavo, this specific piece is quite small compared to his usual installations, in which the viewer can have an experience on a different scale by walking through it.  His interactive pieces invite participation and are therefore shaped by the audience.  Gustavo explained that he...

On seeing work by Kate Harding, Elana Mann and Alex Slade

At Edward Cella on Saturday the gallery space was quiet feeling and naturally lit – the sun entering from a skylight brought inside the clarity of a bright Fall day, but softened it. Light was diffuse and it featured well the many textures and details in the work on display. Elana Mann’s series of photographic prints (from the Improvised Balloon Device series) fairly glowed – they are printed on soft, matte paper have a precious and out-of-time feeling, almost like those hand colored and touched up black and white photographs of your grandparents. The pictures were taken in some sort of radiant fog and have minimal use of colors – only tan, fuzzy white and black. Mann’s black is of the blackest petroleum products, her tan is of weeds and dirt and the fuzzy white is like a memory or a dream. The colors are rich. Rich, too is the allusive nature of Mann’s project: a woman dressed in black bears on her shoulders a load of black balloons in a large net sack. She might be carrying this load to an oil pump in an otherwise abandoned landscape, this woman might be carrying away her precious allotment of black matter, she might be engaged in a ritual or a protest or making an offering to ensure the delivery of that necessary economic lubricant, oil. This mysterious woman’s face looks something like an imagined My Antonia from Willa Cather’s novel – She embodies one who bears, her face confronts me, her struggle is universal as well as unique to her – her face is beautiful and full of, what...

Georg Parthen and Geoff Tuck: An Exchange

10.10.2011 Hello Geoff, it was nice talking to you at the show and I would like to continue our discussion at another time, maybe through email. I do not know if Marcus has sent you installation shots of the show already but if not I attached some for you. Best, Georg 10.10.2011 Hi Georg, this is wonderful. Thanks! I also would like to continue our conversation. I am now viewing untitled (AFX), 2011: http://www.georgparthen.de/videoshow_afx.php The fuel truck and the baggage loader do a nice pas de deux and this begins a veritable crescendo of activity. Crossings of paths left to right. Fat and skinny planes, a cool white security car with blue light flashing. It all seems to have significance and I am not certain why. Have you removed something from the central field of vision? The film is very good to watch. Can you tell me about this project? In the Novae at JB Jurve pieces you mentioned foregrounding, or highlighting technologies that soon will disappear, and this draws my attention to the certainty we feel in each moment – that nothing ever will change. I am reassured knowing that while these particular means of communication may disappear, as you said at the reception, “There will be another to replace it (in our lives).” Which is it we require? The abilities that these tools bring us, or the fact of having tools to distract us? I hope that you enjoyed Joshua Tree as well as the rest of your stay in Los Angeles. best, Geoff   11.10.2011 Geoff, Glad to hear. And thank you for your interest in...

Charles Gaines Skybox

Note that this film divides itself nicely into two parts: an initial three minutes of relative silence followed by seven minutes of quiet monologue, or rather dialogue with the piece. My hand is shaky throughout, as may be fitting when a person stands before the universe. Think of the boring bits as like those in Moby Dick – they are meant for contemplation and self reflection and for the consideration of silent details. I think you’ll enjoy the film when you relax into it. Cheers and thanks, Geoff Tuck The center of gravity in the Los Angeles art world is currently making its transitory presence felt in the second room of Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects. Charles Gaines’s Skybox is a tour de force of open-ended intellectual persuasion as well as technical perfection and these two disparate impulses work together in relation almost as though NASA had successfully made something on the spiritual order of Picasso’s Guernica. Let me rush to explain my possibly bizarre comparison: for much of the last century Picasso’s masterwork was THE protest work of art. While it was anything but subtle, still much of the painting’s strength derived from its restrained palette of muted, harsh blacks and greys. Picasso presented his painting to the world soon after and he named it for an horrific act of war. Similarly, Gaines’s light box installation has few ‘moving parts.’ The room goes from light to darkness and back again, and the twelve foot wide light box exhibits four texts, each of which is considered monumental in the study of human rights and each of which, in its own...

Rob Thom at Parker Jones

Gentle reader, A show is closing this coming Saturday, October 29, that – without really being aware of the fact – I have been waiting to see for three or four years. Rob Thom Wholly Still, Enclosed and Imposed at Parker Jones in Culver City. I shall include images in this post but be aware – images are representations and act as mere facsimiles of the experience you will have in the gallery, similar to the postcard that you send to represent a month-long vacation Venice. Keeping with the postcard analogy: I really do wish that you were here, and you still have some time. The only flying you’ll need to do is in your mind. I wonder – are these paintings still lifes? Portraits? Self-portraits? I get the sense from looking that Thom spent a great deal of time with these paintings. This sense I have is not due to any labored feeling in the paint application – although Rob Thom is among the most skilled appliers of medium to canvas in the city – rather this is due to the artist’s careful composition, his acute observations of material and image, and his fruitful explorations into collage and the possibilities of depiction. I have been told that the artist drew from an archive of papers and images, that he selected images that stood out and also that he chose materials for texture, sheen, for the coincidence of a funny edge or for its resemblance to another thing. With a little imagination I can recognize a bird body assembled from a wad of dryer lint, and a found drinking...

Justin Thomas Schaefer – The Time It Takes To Look

I think the only way to truly express sincere feelings for me can be found through someone else’s engagement language being built there or at least starting there where finding strategy may be moving in the opposite direction in my mind i.e. the design of objects within the confines of the traditional artist’s studio time also in regards to the TIME it takes to LOOK if that engagement is sincere, long or short, the interpretation can then form the anatomy of...

On and about October 21, 2011

Hi-dee hi, folks, hi-dee ho. The weekend is here again. Things are happening in our little berg and it’s been so long since I… did the work of looking stuff up that I feel outside of the conversation. At least outside of my internal dialogue. As it happens I shall be cookin’ tonight – chicken fried steak for poor sad Jason Ramos Raid Projects Jason) who put out on Facebook a plaintive call for quality gravy and meat. Being a grandmother at heart, I took pity. Tomorrow we drive to San Diego for the light and space extravaganzae. Light and Space, steak and gravy, Cab Calloway and Minnie the Moocher – life is beyond good. Raid Projects website: https://raidprojects.wordpress.com/ SD MCA website: http://www.mcasd.org/index.php Christopher Knight review of all the atmospheric stuff:...

Creative Commons Critique: Michael Asher appreciated at Cirrus

A Conversation Regarding Michael Asher and the Legacy of Post-Studio Critique       Saturday Oct. 29th     Michael Asher and Post-Studio Critique 10am-1pm Michael Asher and Post-Studio Practice 2pm-5pm   Organized by Michael Ned Holte and Aaron Wrinkle In Conjunction with the exhibition “Once Emerging, Now Emerging”   first come, first serve basis- limited seating        Michael Asher – Untitled (1974) Installation view, Claire Copley Gallery, Los Angeles          Once Emerging, Now Emerging ONCENOWEXHIBITION.COM  Curated by Jean Milant and Aaron Wrinkle Cirrus Gallery 542 S. Alameda St. Los Angeles, CA 90013 Tuesday- Saturday 10am- 5pm (213) 680-3473 [email protected] www.cirrusgallery.com Once again your friend Geoff Tuck has been trolling the internet and his in box for interesting stuff to share. Friendly fellow, that Geoff! Follow the Pied Piper of Contemporary Art (A.W.) and The Quiet Young Wizard of Valencia (M.N.H.) to Cirrus and engage in conversation about Michael Asher, a gentleman who is a hero to...