these things (Notes on Looking email from November 26, 2013
notes on looking
contemporary art in los angeles
WHEN YOU SIGN YOUR NAME
November 22 through December 28 at metro pcs,
Los Angeles Chinatown
402 Ord Street, 2nd Floor, Suite D.
Montemurno’s exhibition opened this past Friday, November 22.
The gallery is open Saturdays, from noon to six pm, and by appointment.
I recommend Montemurno’s exhibition to you.
Indeed, having seen a show she curated at Sabina Lee Gallery,
and work of hers at Untitled Art Projects….
I exhort you to pay When You Sign Your Name a visit.
Say “Hi” to Matt and Ian.
photo by metro pcs
SITTING FEEDING SLEEPING
I remember a nudibranch, it was plump and pretty and it glowed; it lived in darkness at the bottom of the sea, where every creature is blind.
I remember a bird, or possibly some other animal, who did not care that I existed; even though in my mind I stood close by and cared so much.
I remember a scene showing peacocks in a zoo, and a voice explaining zoo animals’ lives – or perhaps I’m mixing the film with a news story I heard later. No matter. This scene reminded me of the work of a friend, and so it connected directly to my life; whether by a wrong association or a long acquaintance doesn’t matter.
I wondered about the ability of this film to open life to me, to open my life to me; this work of another, an artist with different goals than I, employing different means, and following different rules.
Watching, I forgot the gallery, I forgot the friends I had left standing and chatting; I forgot myself. I considered that even my sublime consciousness doesn’t save me from being merely “a transmission device to put more calcium in the soil” when my body goes into the ground.
SITTING FEEDING SLEEPING
The group exhibition XOXO at Night Gallery, with Cara Benedetto, Anne Collier, Kandis Williams, Rachel Rose, Alika Cooper, Jennifer Boysen, Josephine Pryde, Shannon Ebner, Davina Semo, Erika Vogt, Sara VanDerBeek, Natalie Czech, is on view through December 20.
Also showing at Night Gallery is a solo exhibition of work by Josh Kline; the press release of which I wish to quote in full, because the truth in it dismays me tremendously:
JOSH KLINE-DESIGNED IN CALIFORNIA
“Cyan, Magenta, Yellow. Strawberry, Tangerine, Lime, Bondi Blue. The crystal clear plastic-infused waters of Nestle International. Arrowhead, Poland Spring, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills. The synthetic colors and gloss of new century modernism. Conceived in Weimar Berlin, digitized and redesigned in the Bay Area, manufactured in China. First the glass office building, now the glass luxury residence, next glass-sheathed low-income housing and glass curtain-wall McDonalds branches. Would you like an Aeron chair with your value meal?
Generative surveillance architecture. Seductive ergonomic personal data-gathering devices. The open office is a space where your boss and your coworkers can see everything you do. A place of always-on optimization where downtime is rebranded as a character-flaw and late afternoon
distraction equals moral failure. Every conversation can become a potential opportunity for demotion, dismissal, or professional immolation. Productivity enhancing ultra-transparent antiprivacy zones. Relax, you’re on a working vacation vacation working.
The American mind is a Californian colony. Palo Alto artificial neurons are putting more and more of your unreliable and unprofessional brain’s tender thinking tissues out of a job. Trader Joe’s is the San Franciscan embassy. The Apple Store is Silicon Valley’s local consulate. Google’s free
cloud-based software is the Golden State’s secret service in-home garrison. In the second century of the self, all that’s left of you is your taste and your credit card trail.
You can be anyone you can imagine on your Facebook profile, but don’t expect a paycheck for your efforts. Since you can’t afford a car, maybe you can skate to work? It’s not downward mobility if it’s a lifestyle accessory, is it? Smile! A successful career in the service economy requires a positive attitude and relentless charm. Would you like bottled or tap? Sparkling or still or CGI? In your flattery bath.”
ON THE WEB AT NOTES ON LOOKING…
SCARY MOVIES (AND FAMILY STORIES)
THE OBJECT IS NULL
BY DANIEL ROLNIK
“I’m more fascinated in the stories that you can’t read about in press releases. The story about the work is already in that document and the photos.” D. Rolnik
WHILE I HAVE YOU:
Photo credit: Pianist Gloria Cheng performs original piano works by six film composers at Zipper Concert Hall. (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles Times / November 12, 2013)
I’d like to follow up with you on that Gloria Cheng / Piano Spheres concert I recommended. Mark Swed liked it. Details below:
Pianospheres has another concert in February, with Mark Robson. Look for it here:
Ah, and should you hanker for great 20th Century art music sooner than Feb, I offer you…
JACARANDA-MUSIC AT THE EDGE
KONDO AND FELDMAN
For nearly half a century, the Japanese composer Jo Kondo has been writing works which quietly ask us to listen to music in new ways. Kondo’s friend Morton Feldman stated that Under the Umbrella for 25 cowbells “is going to be another kind of classic as the years go by.” Feldman’s setting of Beckett’s radio play receives a very rare public performance. One of his final compositions, Words and Music defies simple categorization, but contains what the composer saw in both his and Beckett’s work: “this saturated, unending longing.”
AT THE WULF
SOME KEYBOARD MISCELLANY, WITH TAPES
December 1st at 3:00pm
(Thanks for the drawing, Mark. It’s still here.)
YOU SHOULD BUY ANY OF THESE TICKETS EARLY.
MUSIC THIS GOOD GOES FAST.
BOUNTIFUL HARVEST TO YOU
AND A GENEROUS FALL
It has become my custom to leave you with a piece of music. I do so again:
Waltz for Debby, March, 1965, by (a very young) Bill Evans Trio