The low spark of high-heeled boys (Belgian) and the ACP Flat Files

I’m pretty sure I don’t get out often enough. Visiting Artist Curated Projects (ACP) yesterday I saw work by a Laurent Dupont-Garitte – “Oh,” I thought, “another person to learn about. I really like this stuff!”

“Laurent is from Belgium, and he’s back there now. He did our March project.” I talked with Eve (Fowler) for a while longer, looking through the flat files with her and a friend and then came home all stoked to look Dupont up.

Displayed thus on a shelf in the living room gallery, the sculptures seemed held in tension – as though the vibrations coming off Dupont’s objects in combination were behaving like a magnetic field. It was difficult not to look. Dupont’s simple, declarative shapes are objects of household decor that he paints in a single color – I even saw a Rubic’s Cube painted some flat, troublesome color. All my little antennae went up: my Rose Bowl Flea Market jones, the art historical ‘specific object’ stuff I’ve learned, and my admiration for idiosyncrasy as an indicator (and instigator) of desire.

Ah, but things improve even from this elevated and heated place. Dupont makes a drawing for each sculpture, this is a sheet of paper with paint marks to match the object with a lettered notation at bottom left stating “American Object #X LA 2012.” Dupont refers to these drawings as certificates. Hmm. Of authenticity? One can see and hold the object itself, for what does one require certification? The piece of painted and lettered paper assures me of what – the presence of Dupont, the artist? Perhaps to guarantee my act of looking status as an art experience? (Do I need this?)

Whatever the case, I was struck at how cleverly this artist has devoured (and then vomited out remade) the early conceptual art dealer Seth Siegelaub’s practice of using a certificate to stand in for a work of art that cannot be experienced physically. “So,” my brain said to me, “here I have a certificate AND an object. Which then is the experience that I am not having and for which the certificate testifies?” Um, gee. Is the art not in the object?

Messing with a collector’s personal space the way he re-imagined Siegelaub’s intellectual space, Dupont requires that a person who buys his work photograph it and email the image to him. This act of documentation and connection seals the deal. When the artist receives the message and the file, the work is complete. “Laurent wants to know who has his work, and to stay in touch.” I like his requirement for personal contact, in fact his impulse to connect feels right to me and very of the moment. I do not think that all art has to engage so literally and personally with the human, but it’s nice to see intelligent work that does.  We’re having a time right now, in our culture, and touching each other emotionally and physically – well, it’s what animals do and what atoms do.

I offer you also a video of Dupont’s work that I find online and that delights me, from a recent show at Favorite Goods. (Here’s where “I don’t get out often enough” comes from, why oh why did I miss this show?)

You’ll need to follow the link to see the vid. My embeds aren’t happy this morning.

btw – Favorite Goods have a show opening on May 12, Tactical Play Exchange Los Angeles: Robert Gero and Michael Rees.


Other objects in the ACP Flat Files to desire

Dawn Kasper Missing Kaspar Hauser, 2005 C print, 30 x 40 inches 1/3 SOLD 2/3 $1500 3/3 $2000

“Do you know?” said the savvy young art professional and collector who accompanied me to ACP on Tuesday, “I think Dawn’s photos are the best way for a collector to approach her work. Her performances are riveting and she is justly famous for her Whitney installation. It seems to me that a photograph, this photograph for instance, captures well the moment of Dawn Kasper in action.” Two of the edition of three remain.

Nick Aguayo Untitled, 2010 Acrylic and collage on paper, 11 x 14 inches, $800

A second friend (busy day at ACP!) commented that of the current generation of painters in our city, if there is an artist who is making abstraction interesting (and there are), one is Nick Aguayo. (Like most things that are pleasing, abstract painting is harder to do than it looks. When it fails everyone is made uncomfortable. When it succeeds, everyone is also made uncomfortable, but no one stops looking.) Aguayo has work in the current UC Irvine MFA Thesis show, The Wild Hunt.

Stanya Kahn but thanks anyway, 2011 Ink on paper, 5 x 8 inches (10 x 12 framed) $400

Nothing impresses your friends like when you have a talking penis, as evidenced by Stanya Kahn – who, in her recent exhibition of videos at Susanne Vielmetter, actually became a talking penis. At ACP she offers a drawing. Take it home for $400.

Oh gee, there’s more at ACP but maybe I should quit while I’m a head.



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