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Sisterhood is Powerful, and so is Micol

I had occasion Monday morning, while walking around a fallow red pepper field in the cold of Gilroy, to talk with David about Micol Hebron’s recent exhibition, Sisterhood is Powerful, at Jancar Gallery in Chinatown. “It kind of blew me away, there were vaginas everywhere, in every possible medium from drawing to etching to engraving and painting, there were glued glitter modernist artwork vaginas, there was even a huge quartz crystal labia-grotto that poured pina colada’s, the drinks were perfect for a party if one chose to capture the sweet ‘lady piss’ in a stemmed glass and quaff with two cherries.” David was pleased for Micol, and regretted having missed the show, “I was probably up here,” he said, “Damn! It sounds like the same sort of balls to the wall presentation she did back in 2001 at Cherry de los Reyes, with her Richard Hamilton ICA recreation and the Jackson Pollock video. That was such a great show.” [Now that I have derailed my narrative by interjecting too much from the past, I am compelled to share Hebron’s Pollock moment with you. Briefly (and only as I recall things): Micol Hebron recreated in glitter about 100 masterpieces of Modern and Pop Art, she installed these salon style and the effect was…. glorious. The show was like a crazy holiday with relatives who drink for fun. The heart of this operatic effort (in my mind) was Hebron’s video remake of the old Hans Namuth/Jackson Pollock film, the one with Namuth filming from under glass while Pollock does his paint dance, trickling and scattering the paint on the glazed surface. Hebron, biting...

An occasional and not nearly comprehensive look at LA artists doing work elsewhere

Artists from Los Angeles show their work all over the world. Those of you who travel may get to see some of what I’m writing about. Me? My boundaries are pretty clear – I’ll stay in LA and cheer.  Go Team. Micol Hebron has been appointed Senior Curator at the Salt Lake Art Center. (Cara Despain reporting in the Salt Lake City Weekly here and a mention in the local paper, the Deseret News.) Among California’s increasingly decreasing exports, Hebron with her aggressively enlightened Feminist / Humanist way of thinking and working feels like a valuable gift to give. Challenge, imagination and energy. Three words I think she lives by. Utah will have its proclaimed Industriousness equalled and exceeded as Micol Hebron… to quote an early exhibition press release “blasts her way through art history” there was something about “taking no prisoners” in that old document, too. I’m working from my memory of a 10 year old event – somehow I’ve kept a mental image of Micol astride a rocket ship – maybe like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove. Much love to you Micol and all my best wishes! More soon but do be aware this is the last weekend to see Hebron’s show “Essential” at Jancar. The more will include news about Stephanie Taylor in NY, Flora Weigman and Amy Granat in London, Michele O’Marah in NY, Sarah Cain in NY. (Pretend two or four hours have passed…….. hmm….. click, click….. damn! not that one……… drive home and start again) Michele O’Marah presents to the honored denizens of New York City her acclaimed film installation “A Girl’s Gotta Do What A Girl’s Gotta Do” at...

Notes on Looking, June 3, 2010

Hello friends and Fellows, (beware links in this post. when uploading from my archive i lost the connetions. i’ve relinked only up to Autumn Ramsey so far…) All that stuff I told you about Support Group at Cottage Home last week? It’s even truer now. Honestly, go see this show. Beginning outside with Kathryn Andrews’ piece It’s all about… Gaylen Gerber which is comprised of two billboard size signs both white background with red lettering and chainlink graphic in a font to match the Cottage Home sign. One reads “It’s all about…” and the other reads “Gaylen Gerber!” So is Gerber such an awesome dude that Andrews felt compelled to thus honor him? Is this title a caprice of Andrews’s? Is it because Gerber’s own work, while not entirely lacking (three walls are painted Gerber Grey and one of each pair of fluorescent tubes are covered with grey filters, the walls enclosing and the curiously warm grey light touching each work of art in the exhibition) is noticeably unapparent even for a  conceptual show? Who can tell? Walk through the front door and find yourself at first perplexed. Should you wait a moment and choose a magazine from the convenient rack by the door? Should you follow what seems to be the advice of a glow in the dark, scary, pointing hand sculpture and continue into the gallery? Entering the main gallery space one might think, “Well gee, this looks more like it’s all about Kathryn Andrews!” She’s fenced off the middle two thirds of the space with chain link, which encloses two 7′ tall concrete block walls painted...

1-28-10

Dear friends and Fellows, I’d like to invite you to join me this Saturday, 4 pm at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair for X-TRA Magazine’s special live realization of Micol Hebron’s quarterly column 1 IMAGE 1 MINUTE. Inspired by Belgian film director Agnes Varda, Hebron has invited artists and writers to choose a single image to comment on in each print issue of X-TRA. Last year’s public realization of this project sold out in seconds! This year, along with 50 or so other artists, curators and historians I’ll be presenting a single photographic image and talking about it for one minute.   Good Lord, my friends, I have so much fun talking to you in my head it would be a real treat to talk to you in person! (If only for a minute.) Besides, the Art LA Contemporary Fair is a great chance to cruise through some of the best international galleries showing their most illustrious artists. Network! Buy art! Gather info! Fun, fun, fun! Nahr!!!!! Sometimes timing is awful. Parker Jones opened an exhibition of new paintings by Charles Karubian on Wednesday the 27th. I like Charles’ paintings and it seems like a while since he’s shown here. Can I tell you something personal without putting you off? During 2007 I did hemodialysis at home (it wasn’t so bad) David was nurse (yes, he is amazing) and I sat for 3 hours a day, five days a week for an entire year, cycling my blood, reading and looking at one painting of Charles Karubians’. And looking again. It was great. Parker’s building-mate Francois Ghebaly at Chung...

On the news of two deaths

I did not know Don Cornelius and I also never met Mike Kelley. I suppose I can say that I grew up in Cornelius’s world and I grew into Kelley’s. When I read of their successive demise, while I was walking around familiar Hollywood streets this morning (streets that I have been walking around since the 1970s, when I listened to music from Soul Train, when art was only a rumor, when my father killed himself) I was shaken much more than I might have thought by the news. Don Cornelius was the more distant figure, I knew his work far better than I knew his name; Mike Kelley, even at the remove from which I was aware of him, seemed very like a friend, or a distant relation, he touched the life and mind of every artist that I know. Suicide is an awful thing – the act is unimaginable to the survivors, and it has the effect of draining any possible meaning out of death: it leaves a space which we cannot fill, not by seeking answers. Of course the consolations surrounding death may be illusory at all times, but we need them because death is sad: one among us is gone. It took me more than thirty years to mourn last time, so now I am feeling my way – like we all are. More than separating us in the uniqueness of our response, death joins us by its shared mystery – none of us understand. My experience of suicide does not give me special insight, but maybe accepting what is unknowable is insight in times...