Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide, a weekend show in Berlin
Making art requires the translation of an idea – consciously or unconsciously – away from an unmediated expression of self and toward an externally determined presentation.
But, currently, I see conditions in the contemporary art world requiring that the authentic self, the spirit of the artist’s idea, must remain largely undercover – or negotiate itself out of existence.
Yet, as in the words of Martha and the Vandellas – sometimes there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide; this imperative to dissemble can be problematic for an artist who is trying to maintain the germ, the spirit, and the rebel that is central to their art.
Everywhere I go
Your face I see
Every step I take
You take with me, yeah
I know you’re
No good for me
But free of you
I’ll never be, no
Each night as I sleep
Into my heart you creep
I wake up feeling sorry I met you
Hoping soon that I’ll forget you
Nowhere to run
Nowhere to hide
Got nowhere to run to, baby
Nowhere to hide
Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide is:
David Bell, Anthony Bodlović, Asher Hartman, EJ Hill, Brianne Latthitham, Paul Outlaw, and Geoff Tuck
The exhibition is at Infernoesque, Die Lustige Grube (a summer-long series of exhibitions in Berlin organized the members of Infernoesque and curated by international artists).
The exhibition hours are Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10, Friday from 6pm-10pm, and Saturday from 1pm-7pm.
On the lawn, under the trees, in the park at Leipzigerstrasse 40, Berlin.
Performance by Paul Outlaw, written and directed by Asher Hartman, Friday at 8:00 PM and Saturday at 3:00 PM.
The scene: a semi-private park fronting on iconic Communist-era apartment buildings. The park is inhabited by office-workers taking lunch, neighborhood kids playing games and sneaking beers, dog walkers, and local street people. Members of these disparate groups sometimes do, and sometimes don’t pay attention to the goings on in the newly-built hut in their park. During the weekend of Nowhere to Run, members of each group took part in the festivities, and helped with the show.
The hut, the Merry Pit, in the afternoon and dark evening, under the linden trees. People gather.
Paul Outlaw Skypes and texts from a nearby apartment as people read Asher’s script.
A lucky architectural quirk of the hut are the cracks in its envelope: the oak planks are thick, the structure is sound, yet vision is allowed, even encouraged. The Merry Pit offers its participants an enlightening, revelatory kind of protection from the elements.
On Saturday, Paul performed again.
Brianne Latthitham and Anthony Bodlović, Work Ethic.
Beer cap, Brianne, happy face, Bingo Bongo Bed Banner, truck, ring, back of David Bell. And the Merry Pit. A vaguely alliterative statement describing a wonderful midday scene.
A view from the Bed. Brianne looking glamorous. Standers and talkers. Berlin.
Adam (Feldmeth) trio one.
Adam (Feldmeth) trio two.
Adam trio three: Seeing EJ.
Speaks for itself. I lost the painting. The airport ate it. Or, Lucas Chaddwick, Jr. strikes back. (Isn’t “mis-placed” an interesting concept?)
Aha. Passing, by EJ Hill.
The Bingo Bongo Bed, turned down; showing jumping Polley and flaming Droolus.
In ones and twos, they come, they gather. Bingo Bongo is an accommodating place.
The book. Friends.
Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
Works in the exhibition:
Opportunity for Diversion: A Script for Two Players, 2013
Script and performance
Asher Hartman, Paul Outlaw
Noah Smoking, 2013,
Oil on canvas
Work Ethics, 2013,
looped video, 6.31 minutes
Brianne Latthitham, Anthony Bodlović
AstroTurf, mounted and framed
Bingo Bongo Bed, 2013
Various weights of muslin, acrylic paint, dirt from Parkfield, fancy window-curtain fabrics, crewel embroidery thread, mattress, book, people.
A bed. Sheets painted with cheerful, yet pathos-evoking characters. A book with references to a real, and yet almost legendary city. As a whole, perhaps this bed is a landscape: a landscape for fantasies and for histories and for nightmares. A place to be born, a place to make love, a place to be alone, a place to die. A place to be violated, a place to sleep. A dreamscape where we meet the consequences of our actions, and where our familiars are the actions of the parents, who made us.
If it is true, as Bertolt Brecht quoted in his song Denn wie man sich bettet, from Aufstieg und fall der Stadt Mahagonny, that “Denn wie man suich bettet, so liegt man / Es deckt einen da keener zu / Und wenn einer tritt, dan bin ich es / Und wird einer getreten, dann bist’s du” (For as you make your bed, so you must lie on it / No one will tuck you in / If anyone does the kicking it will be me / if anyone gets kicked, it will be you), then I would propose that within the bed that we all make, and that is made for us, there lies the possibility of transcendence, indeed of liberation.
I invite you to lie in my bed and read from my book of dreams.
The Bingo Bongo Bed is dedicated to the memories of two men: to my father, whose choices in life caused me so much sorrow and confusion; and to Bryan Thomas White, a young friend who called himself Life’s a Dream (L.A.D.), and who struggled bravely to find transcendence and freedom. These two men spent their lives on opposite sides of the fact of childhood sexual abuse, my father as a perpetrator, my perpetrator, as we say in the CSA community, and L.A.D. as a survivor. They both died trying to escape.
I offer my appreciation to Karl Haendel, whose film, Questions for My Father, encouraged me on this journey.
Information about the artists
Asher Hartman is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is located at the juncture of theater and performance and centers on the exploration of the self in relation to Western histories and ideologies. Recent solo works include “Glass Bang” at the Fitzpatrick-Leland House as part of “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.” and at Southern Exposure in San Francisco (2013), “The Florida Room” at Cannonball, Miami (2013),“See What Love The Father Has Given Us” at Machine Project (2012); “Language of the Land, LACE (2012): Annie Okay” at The Hammer Museum, (2010); “The All Stars of Non-Violet Communication” at LACE, Human Resources, and Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles, (2011); “Halfway to Vegas,” Culver City of the Arts Riverside (2011);“Bad Thing” at Sea and Space Explorations, (2010), and solo exhibitions at numerous other venues . His film/video works have been exhibited at MIX/NYC, Migrating Forms (New York), Images (Toronto), Recontres Int’l (Paris/Berlin), The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila); London Underground Film Festival; Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles; and The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, among other venues.
Asher Hartman is also one half of the intuitive duo Krystal Krunch (with Haruko Tanaka) whose workshops and performances have been presented largely with the collaboration of Machine Project in Los Angeles and at Real Art Ways (Hartford), The Hayward Gallery (London), The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburg); Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Spaces (Cleveland), The Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), Extrapool (Netherlands), The Vincent Price Art Museum (Los Angeles) and The Torrance Art Museum among other venues.
Paul Outlaw, is a Los Angeles-based experimental theater artist and vocalist whose award-winning solo projects have been presented across the United States and in Europe.
Paul was the lyricist and lead vocalist for the Berliner bands Snow Blind Twilight Ferries and Fortified Static; backing vocalist for Mad Romeo; and guest vocalist and lyricist for the dance project General Motor and legendary post-punk constellation Die Haut.
In 2010 and 2011, he has performed at Westwood’s Armand Hammer Museum (Annie Okay, Asher Hartman’s Machine Project A.I.R. musical performance spectacle); at the Kellogg Gallery in Pomona, CA, and the Silent Movie Theater (Under Glass, a video/performance installation created in collaboration with Carole Kim and Carl Stone); and at LACE/Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (What Did I Do to Be So Black and…, a mixed media performance collaboration with installation artist Curt LeMieux). Paul’s more than ten-year collaboration with choreographer Rosanna Gamson continues with the new dance theater project Layla Means Night, which made its workshop debut at REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival in September 2011.
Paul is the author and performer of the solo trilogy consisting of Here Be Dragons, Berserker and The Late, Late Show (currently in development).
David Bell is an artist, a writer and a clandestine impresario at Dave Gallery, around Los Angeles. Bell has presented performances at Commonwealth and Council, Dutch Door, Dave Gallery and JB Jurve. He has presented video and sculptures at Commonwealth and Council and JB Jurve. Bell’s writing has been published online at www.notesonlooking.com, in The Parkfield Review #2 – 2011-2012, and in the publication for Bingo Bongo Bed, Dreamscapes of Los Angeles, A Notes on Looking Reader.
Brianne Latthitham is a Los Angeles-based artist, a writer and an actress. Latthitham has presented performances at One Inch Punch and JB Jurve. Latthitham’s writing has been published online at www.notesonlooking.com, in The Parkfield Review #2 – 2011-2012, and in the publication for Bingo Bongo Bed, Dreamscapes of Los Angeles, A Notes on Looking Reader.
Anthony Bodlović is a Los Angeles-based performance artist who focuses on social interactions and relationships. For his most recent performance, 00241212, he gifted 12 hours of his time to 12 people for 12 days – during which he completely gave over his free will to the participants. Artist Brianne Latthitham was one of those participants, and for her 12 hours Latthitham instructed Bodlović to collaborate on a project. The video Work Ethics is a unique joint collaboration, a performance within a performance – further complicating the notions of power dynamics presented in the work.
EJ Hill is Los Angeles-based performance artist and painter. Hill has presented performances and videos at RAID Projects, Charlie James, ATX, The New Wight Gallery and One Inch Punch in Los Angeles; and The Smart Museum of Art, Little Black Pearl and at ACRE Project, in Chicago. He recently presented an exhibition of paintings at Commonwealth and Council. Hill’s has writing been published online at www.notesonlooking.com, and in the publication for Bingo Bongo Bed, Dreamscapes of Los Angeles, A Notes on Looking Reader. Hill will present a project in the forthcoming Parkfield Review #3, 2012-2013.
Geoff Tuck is a Los Angeles and Parkfield-based writer and artist. Tuck has presented his paintings and sculptures at Commonwealth and Council and at JB Jurve. Tuck’s writing has been published in Zeitschrift, issue Déjà vu (January, 2012) and in X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly. Tuck is the founder of Notes on Looking.
All photographs are by Sonja Gerdes.