All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

being and otherness

UCLA Film and Television Archive Roberts and Tilton, past exhibition page “I’m trying to get away with the redundancy of being an African-American or making African-American art. It’s like a double negative, a double noun. So I’m trying to figure it out. Everyone knows that I am black, so my work doesn’t have to shout it out anymore…. I am black. The work will automatically be thought of as a part of my African-American culture.” ~David Hammons (from Carousel Microcinema) “People are the best medicine for people.” William Pope L Next June, artist William Pope.L will ask people across Cleveland to manually pull an 8-ton truck through the city for 72 hours straight. Yes, that’s 72 HOURS! STRAIGHT! During the pull, images gathered from Clevelanders about the work they do everyday will be projected out the truck’s back doorway for all to see. Want to be a part of this ambitious show of what Cleveland can do when we pull together? Join Pope.L at a community meeting about ‘Pull!’ to find out more about the project. Pull! will take place on June 7-10 of 2013.More information: www.spacesgallery.org/project/pullor 216-621-2314.This project is funded in part by the Joyce Awards and the George Gund...

Eduardo Consuegra: A conversation with the artist about his work

Geoff Tuck to Eduardo Consuegra: I visited your show at Richard Telles Fine Art this week. Sorry we couldn’t meet up – this week and next are pretty packed for me. I really like the matte-board pieces in the Martel space! They reinforce the time-play that you began with the ad pieces in the front, and they offer me space for reflection (in a Modernist, monochrome way) as counterpoint to the humorous pop/camp of your sculptures, paintings and ad collages. Your interest in time is apparent: the ads from your youth in Colombia make me think of those aspirational moments we have when we glean information not from content that was directed at us but sideways, in ads and in random ancillary passages from articles. It’s the age when one searches, well, sometimes for life’s meaning and sometimes just for informed taste (this last might be a queer thing…) Aah, but back to time: you paste these found ads on prepared linen and then paint another photographic ad from another time, these might be still-life and set piece photos by a commercial artist from back in the day and, curiously enough, were signed by him in a strange nod to potential art-hood. These paintings of yours resemble portraits, and your making of them places your own presence between the original and me. I read in the press release that you consider the found photos to be evidence of a history you did not have – and it is you in the present who is crafting them as counterpoints to the past you clip from magazines. It’s as though you...

Monica Majoli at L & M Arts

The darkness of these paintings makes them difficult to see, and I struggle, pressing my old eyes as close to the surface of each painting as I am practicably able; the one of each diptych that is on paper framed with museum glass, as well as the ones that are oil on panel. Retreating to the center of the room, I notice how well they look at a distance, so my strategy for looking becomes a movement that might resemble a performance: I stand close, as though to acknowledge and greet each work, then I turn and move away to study it again. Instead of following along the wall from painting to painting, I make a series of uneven triangles that eventually complete the square. (I almost feel that I should bow at each rest, as though in some semi-formal dance.) As the paintings in Monica Majoli’s exhibition at L & M Arts alternate materials, between oil on panel and lithographic ink with acrylic ink and gouache on paper, so do they alternate subjects, between intimate figure studies of past lovers and abstracted architectural spaces; additionally, sometimes the material also serves as the subject. And in any case the relationship between subjects – people and spaces – is so intimate and personal that they are nearly one thing. In one oil painting, Amy, the face of a woman looks slightly down, and her blonde hair falls over the right side of her face; her lips are parted and her eyes open. The gold of this woman’s hair is beautiful as light catches in it. (Does this light come from...

Thinking and listening

Model behavior you’d like to see in others. Never demand the right of way, always accept it. (I had a crazy philosophically-minded driver ed teacher in Junior High. Or maybe I found teaching moments in strange places.) Philanthropy Potlatch Whatever the rules for success say, I think that giving makes me a more valuable person. I don’t need to be a billionaire to do this, nor do I require a foundation. I for sure don’t expect anything in return – it makes me feel good to disperse my bounty (whatever that might be). I think that a lot of people giving small has a great effect on our world(s). Here are two great tools for any Social Practice art: Say “Hi!” and be generous. If this is too much to remember, just be nice. I’m looking out the window right now, and wondering why I’m not outside. Have a happy Thanksgiving. Suggestions for these musical selections come from Bennett Simpson and MOCA’s Blues for Smoke show. When you visit, use the listening posts or your life will be empty and sad. One more: Bring others with you when you succeed....

Akina Cox and Ariane Vielmetter – Another Self

Akina Cox’s Burning Witch video is installed to my left as I enter the gallery. Inside, street sounds fade and I begin to hear a religious-ish folky song from the video; the words are not clear, but the tune is comfortable, and the artist’s clear, high voice is distinctive and familiar. On the monitor I see an effigy, tied to a post (or stake) in a desert landscape. The effigy is burning as the artist’s voice sings. Behind me on a shelf installed on the wall are placed bone and plaster tools – a slender pick, an awl, a triangular pointed thing that is shaped curiously like a screwdriver, a shovel, two spoons and a pointy spade: this is a sculpture by Ariane Vielmetter. “I suppose,” my mind tells me, “that bones are one origin of tools.” The bones are rough and used, while the plaster is white and clean, and the shapes in plaster are sanded and smooth. Looking at the checklist I see that the bones have been “composted,” and this makes me think of meaty bones being offered to the ground as food, and that the shapes would have been revealed (and made available to the artist) by this process of regeneration and digestion. These two pieces, one by each artist, precede the exhibition proper, and are installed in an anteroom to the main space, created by a low-relief archway. Do the artists intend the pieces to be considered separately, perhaps as an introduction? Because of the architectural enclosure, Akina Cox’s voice seems to wash over Ariane Vielmetter’s sculptures, and the intimacy of this shared space...

Candice Lin at Francois Ghebaly

Dear Candice, Twice I saw your show, It Makes the Patient See Pictures before it closed at Francois Ghebaly’s space. It was a profound experience each time and I think I recommended the show to everyone I know. The first time was early after the opening, on a Saturday in September. I was seduced by your hot and sexy humor, in the first room I found your silicon sculptural dildos hilarious (there is something delightful about imagining Brancusi’s Bird in Space, or an Africanized Queen Victoria engaged in such pleasure). Exploited Painting however, and The Lingering Smell, pointed me away from simplistic yuk-yuk jokes and toward something darker, less funny and more sad and, because I am white, harsher. The second time I visited I was just angry. I watched the “pig” movie, I sat on the floor, near the pig’s ass, and stared at the small projection on the wall for three or four cycles of the film. It was horrifying. It was sad.  Pigs are people, too, and they were being killed, oh fuck, just like people, in this case black people. Part of the strength of this work for me is the unavoidable directness of your metaphor, you show no fear in being...