All notes with the topic Asher Hartman | Notes on Looking

An interview with Asher Hartman in the afterglow of The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance performed in the Bing Theater at LACMA on Friday May 13th and Saturday May 14th, 2016.

Asher: Do you want me to get a little table for you? laub: Sure. Ok, good. This formalizes it a little… Let’s see.  I got to see The Silver, the Black, the Wicked Dance twice, which was really fun. Why did you choose that space? Asher: We were looking for different spaces in the museum. When I went into the Bing Theater, it had a particular sensation in it that was attractive to me. It has a kind of energy from all the old performances over the years and film series ongoing at LACMA in the Bing Theatre.  It’s full, that particular space- with a lot of energy and history. laub: What kind of history? Asher: It has a history of great musical and film performances and if you look at the architecture, it’s this beautiful 60’s architecture reminiscent of 1970s film and theatre, which, to my recollection, having been very young at the time, is very psychological, very intense, very character driven, very emotionally driven, and has a somewhat experimental sensibility, and so, immediately you walk into that theatre and you feel it.  People talk about that theatre as being haunted by the feeling of John Cassavetes. I understand that, there’s intensity about the space that I felt really akin too. laub: How important is it that people know about theater to view your work? Asher: I don’t think it’s important at all. Artists don’t seem to have a connection to theater, which I completely understand, because theater- American conservative contemporary theater- is not very interesting to me either. I think the more you know about it, the...

LARA BANK AND THE PORTABLE, POSSIBLE FOREST

Plants occupy a curious space in Los Angeles, along our endless boulevards, the slippery wild spaces, in our pragmatic urban gardens. Dressed in their rugged army and sour greens, saps and dusty forests, they feel heavy here, as if enduring an unfortunate reassignment from a primordial and pleasant film set to the present catastrophe-in-waiting. They hover, necessarily detached from a place that, despite its force, can’t match their slow power. Their mystical authority resounds elsewhere. Here they seem provisional occupants, their majesty unhinged. We need them and rush by them. Without a clear right to existence, they seem, like the rest of us, touched, agitated, leaning toward the bygone. When an artist works with plant life as her primary material, she risks capitalizing on the pathos of the plant in an environment governed by reaction and speed. Their insistent presences, their fragility, are easy plots in a city in love with heroes who reaffirm life’s unalterable brutality. For Lara Bank, whose major recent projects include Tree and Space, The Portable Forest, and the beloved Sea and Space Explorations, plants are raw material, conscripts in a larger concern about power and the right to existence. Lara Bank founded and directed Sea and Space Explorations, an exhibition space that asked straightforward questions about the relationship between the artist and the art gallery. The project treated the art space as less a privileged enclave than a hub of connection and exchange. In the short span of two years, Bank hosted over 300 artists in an array of inventive, intelligent exhibitions, situated largely in conceptual or relational practice. Bank’s integrity and adamant fostering...