All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

Artadia awards exhibition at LACE

And the award goes to… is much more a presentation of work by artists with something in common than it is a curated exhibition. This is an observation, and not a criticism; the show’s purpose is to orient viewers with the work of a group of grant winners. It’s a sparsely hung show; the combined three rooms of exhibition space hold three video installations (two projections, and one – a film – on a monitor), four modest-size drawings, one sculpture and two easel painting sized wall sculptures. A wall projection screens two videos in a loop. Cayetano Ferrer, Vishal Jugdeo, Nicole Miller, Stanya Kahn and Kerry Tribe are the inaugural awardees of Artadia’s expansion of its granting mission. Now covering seven locales in the US, Artadia gives unrestricted awards and other support to artists. You may find out more about Artadia here http://artadia.org/ Kerry Tribe makes demands upon one’s attention and upon one’s patience with her films. The experience of her work can be trying, and it can also be intriguing. At LACE Tribe shows a short film titled The Procedure, which is a kind of period piece / drawing room comedy (without laughs) / and Structuralist exercise. As the film opens, the characters, who seem to be a family, are hushed; the colors are drab, not in a dingy way, but in a way that speaks of modesty and hard work and “no time for all that,” where “all that” is happiness. There is tension, and maybe fear present among the family. Or maybe they’re simply not very demonstrative, maybe they’re English. They are gathered behind a dining table;...

Fairfax and the Movies by Paul Pescador

This summer I did a screening in Los Angeles at Cinefamily, a movie theater on Fairfax between Beverly and Melrose which screens independent/cult films. (Paul Pescador, 1 – 9, 2011-2013, presented at CineFamily in cooperation with Human Resources, August 4, 2013) A few years back, before Cinefamily opened, the venue was The Silent Movie Theater, which would occasionally screen old silent films, oftentimes with a live musical accompaniment. I first heard the story about Silent Movie Theater a year ago from a friend over brunch. She started the conversation with, “My friend was shot in the chest in that theater”. I paused and looked up from my burrito. “So my friend worked at the concession stand at the Silent Movie Theater, and the owner of the theater, who was secretly gay, his lover hired a hit man and tried to kill him off.” “Why?” “I guess he had a lot of money and wanted it. The theater was a fun side project for the owner, as he was incredibly wealthy. My friend was a family friend of his, she was in high school and would work the concession stands wherever they did screenings.” “So what happened?” “The lover hired a hit man. The agreement was that the hit man was to shoot the owner and take out anyone else who was close by, making it seem like a robbery. My friend was working the concession stand. She was shot, but didn’t die. “What happened to the owner?” “Oh he died.” “Jesus! How did they tie it back to the lover?” “Well, my friend was ok and was able to identify...

Simone Montemurno, “When You Sign Your Name,” at metro pcs

The gallery feels intimate; a diffuse saffron glow softens any hard edges. This effect is created by a false fabric ceiling suspended below fluorescent fixtures that remain from the room’s original purpose as a small office. A wood paneled wall has been installed which blocks the storefront windows from the main gallery space. In the small anteroom before this wall, and adjacent the entry, a desk holds an artist’s book, this is filled with photographic images in the manner of a notebook, or a sketchbook. (Source Arrangement Partial Archive 2 (It’s A Photograph), 2013) Above this display hangs a small, oval painting which shows the corner of a table in the artist’s studio, and on this pictured table are some tools of the artist: peculiarly fat-handled paint brushes and blue archival tape; the brushes are DIY “good grips,” made to accommodate an injury to the artist’s wrists. (Inventory Painting #7, 2013) In the room beyond are two large paintings on panels, these are full scale self-portraits, and they lean against opposite walls; on the wall between the dyptich hang six more small tondos; similar to the painting near the entry, they depict still life vignettes from the artist’s studio. The warm, saffron light and intimacy of the anteroom continue throughout, and my initial experience of the exhibition feels different from one’s usual cold – or at least distanced – gallery experience. Montemurno’s When You Sign Your Name invites a consideration of art that is objective and also engaged; the work calls to my heart as well as my brain. Looking around the gallery, I feel the sensual anticipation and...