Coming to you from the center of the San Andreas Fault. (Notes on Looking email from February 5, 2014)

notes on looking
contemporary art in los angeles
Images linked to sources.
(top to bottom) The photographer James Welling by Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy, Cascade (B81) by James Welling, Degradé 17 by James Welling
“In 2008 I went to a discussion between Mark Wyse and Welling for Photo L.A. at the Santa Monica airport. Welling had a laconic, modest manner of talking about his own photographs, very matter of fact.  The dynamic between Wyse and Welling suggested the scene in the documentary Painters Painting when Andy Warhol is interviewed by the director Emile de Antonio, sitting right next to Warhol is Brigid Berlin and she elaborates on, explains, and supplements Andy’s responses. At Photo L.A. Mark Wyse took on the role of Berlin, elaborating on the brief, truncated responses offered by Welling. It was as if Welling’s explanations resisted bringing form to his intentions.  It wasn’t as though Welling was evasive; but much seemed left out.  Everyone wanted to get to the bottom of this thing and find out what the photographs are all about.” Continue reading…
Cover design by Mathew Timmons
Dreamscapes of Los Angeles is writing by and about Los Angeles artists.
Dreamscapes is now available on Amazon through Blanc Press.
Paul Pescador, 4, 5 and 8 film still
“My freshman year of college, I used to go to Canter’s for blind dates. I would sit at my usual table, they would come sit down and I would smile. After a few minutes I would realize that their photo from did not match their actual face and I would slide the check over to them and leave. This dickiness on my part resulted in bad dating karma, killing my dating life for five years.” Continue reading…
Cayetano Ferrer, Vishal Jugdeo, Stanya Kahn, Nicole Miller, Kerry Tribe 
“(Stanya Kahn’s) film begins with one-liners; bomb-dropping sort of gags that promise and threaten destruction of our two bird friends. As the film continues, its language develops into truly strange and surreal play. I do not know whether Kahn is quoting literature here, I do not know whether the paragraphs in which her birds begin to speak make sense, and I haven’t a clue what this film is about; but it smacked me out of the torpor of my gallery-complacency and made me pay attention.” Continue reading…
Photo courtesy of John Burtle and Michael Benevento Los Angeles
“Surveying the first room, I see before me on the ground the sculpture Banana Skin (2012), withered and blackened as though by age; it reminds me of corny old movies with a shuffling tramp, and of clowns (a little bit), and of lunch. This banana skin has darkness and humor, it has the seriousness of a thing that is made by hand. The scale is funny though, smaller than it should be (in my mind); and as I look down I feel like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, with her long, stretching neck.” Continue reading…
at metro pcs
Photo courtesy of Simone Montemurno and metro pcs
“…as a painter, Manet feared this turn of events. Art, a thing which requires associative powers, intellectual and emotional legwork, and time, is powerless before a crowd which has been trained not to delve too deeply into what they see, and which is more concerned with the consumption of commercial goods that are immediately available, that are disposable, that are passive, and that flatter one’s taste’s and encourage self-absorption.” Continue reading…
Photo of E.J. Hill and fair lounge by Stefanie Keegan/Getty Images.
“The context only made the performance more poignant. A small crowd gathered to applaud Hill’s seductive body rolls, egg on his confessions, forming a protective circle to divide him from fairgoers who read him as mere entertainment. More, Hill was roaring in the language of critical theory, could we all “examine our privilege,” while at the same time across town, Joe Scanlan—a white male artist—was self-consciously puppeteering a black female character as his performative surrogate. Hill’s performance was a heartening reminder that art fairs emerge because there are artists. And artists, the brave ones at least, the ones making work worth looking at, don’t care who’s watching.” Continue reading…
Paul Pescador, September 1, photograph
“I’m working as a PA on a set. She stares at me. I’m intimidated by her confidence. Her carmel, curly hair. She tells me that this is all a character, this isn’t her real name, she’s a fantasy, a celebrity whom I project onto. I see the world and my insecurities about my own accomplishments. She asks me why I want to be a PA. I explain this isn’t what I want to do, it’s just a job, something to pay the bills. She looks at me, confused. She says, “I want to be an a singer, so I sing….” Continue reading…
Photo by Geoff Tuck
January 27 through February 28
Reception Sunday, February 23, 4:00 PM through 8:00 PM
Chris Burden, Molly Corey, Cayetano Ferrer, Dan Graham, Lia Halloran, Olga Koumoundouros, Aaron Garber Maikovska, Alex McDowell, Isaac Resnikoff, Geoff Tuck, curated by Marcus Herse
The Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University is pleased to present Your Shell is made of Air. The guiding focus of this survey is the shifting idea of how urban space is perceived. Spanning the period from the late 1960’s until today, these conceptions range from political and utopian approaches, to performative interventions and visions of imagined cities.
City space is a manifestation of human life, like a cast that forms in response to human behavior and desire. The shapes of the city, the buildings, streets, squares, shopping malls and residential areas, are the habitat within which we perform our moves, physically and intellectually.
When every environment is only as rich as the actions it allows for, it is a matter of investigating these places for possibilities and applications that are not originally inherent to them. It is the search for these air pockets that brings the artists in the show together. Deviating from this commonality, the searches touch upon ideas of the city as a playground, a sociopolitical laboratory, a psychological dérive, and the exploration of future urban systems in sci-fi cinema.
An artist reception will be held on Sunday February 23, 2014 from 4-8pm, coinciding with the release of the exhibition catalog designed by U&I Design, and featuring essays by Jan Tumlir, Amy Howden Chapman and Marcus Herse. More here.
Photo by Geoff Tuck
Beyoncé, by Paul Pescador is from RECAPS Magazine, a forum for conversation whose mission is to explore what emerges when content is brought together from different historical, geographical, methodological, aesthetic, and political vantage points. The magazine includes work that ranges from the canonical to the provisional, the abstract to the polemical, the timely to the archival. RECAPS explores the relationship between virtual community and embodied activism. The (re)print section is the most literal example but this line of inquiry structures the entire project. RECAPS attaches uses the prefix “re” in categorizing the content because the magazine is built on the idea that resistance is a process of repeating ideas, reworking strategies, and reimaging what seems possible. “Re” reflects the belief that ideas are collectively produced and an engagement with the political present requires looking backward.
EJ Hill, by Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal is from Artsy, whose mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Artsy is an online platform for discovering, learning about, and collecting art.
Learn more about Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal here.
Photo by Geoff Tuck
I leave you with a proud moment in this lover’s heart: Andrew Berardini quotes David Richards (my David Richards!) quoting Dave Hickey at Art Los Angeles Contemporary. Three cool guys on
““Anything hit you like tits on the subway?” collector David Richards asked me at the following night’s opening of Art Los Angeles Contemporary. Richards referred to a Hickey-ism posted online during his talk that a few artists caviled at. Not quite, though turning a corner and seeing a naked and healthfully engorged self-portrait by Leigh Ledare at Pilar Corrias’s booth had a similar effect. Around the corner, Tala Madani painted a man sticking a bottle into his pants; some kind of theme tumesced. (LA Rises?) Lisa Williamson’s suite of winsome cutouts at Tif Sigfrids Gallery made for a satisfying antidote.” 
More from Andrew and ArtForum here.
Find Dave Hickey’s Pirates and Farmers: Essays on Taste here.
(You’ll note it’s currently sold out. Congratulations, Dave! Wish the same for me.) 

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *