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Notes on Looking is a creative writing platform for the Los Angeles art community.

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Most recent notes on looking…

Muertos, Luchadores y Fowler Symposium

These last two weeks for me and many other Latinos have been about setting up ofrendas for Dia de los Muertos as a way of remembering and honoring the dead.  This Day (or rather week) has influenced many artists living in Los Angeles.  Day of the Dead celebrations at Self Help Graphics in Boyle Heights started in 1972 and since then has always brought together the Chicano community, including the artists of Asco and Los Four, to perform their traditions and make both cultural and artistic works. Revival at Self Help Graphics is curated this year by Patssi Valdez and will be up for another week.  ¡Ándale, cómprate una flaca!  It’s a great time to go to East LA to check out the art scene and SHG should definitely be one of the stops, as they have recently moved into their new location on 1st street. At Craig Krull Gallery in Bergamot Station, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan’s work was exhibited only for one week during the Day of the Dead festivities (Nov. 1-5).  His colorful paintings of chubby, ballooned out  lowriders, anthropomorphic animals, and Chicano locals encircled a central round table holding Magu’s ofrenda.  Magu passed away just a few months ago and it was nice to see this important Chicano artist being celebrated and remembered at this art gallery, especially next to another exhibit and ofrenda for his friend and colleague (also from the artist collective Los Four), Carlos Almaraz. Almaraz passed away in 1989, but his drawings, paintings and pastels still capture the street life of East Los.  My favorite are his car crash paintings.  They are expressionistic... read more

Lessons for writers, the first

Writing begins a conversation. You can’t say everything you want all at once. Start somewhere. Write something. Put it out there. Do it again. Allow your writing to lead your thoughts. Not the other way around. Just begin. (You can’t get better writing for yourself.) XO PS Be nice to yourself – you’re learning. You always are.... read more

Repost from “The Performance Club,” with links

Yvonne Rainer, Douglas Crimp and Taisha Paggett Blast Marina Abramović and MOCA LA   Rainer received the following letter from someone who attended the Abramović audition for a work to be performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles’ gala: So, I spent an hour today at the Abromovic [sic] audition at MOCA. The deal is that the artists/dancers she will hire will spend 3(!) hours under the dining tables of the donor gala with their heads protruding from the tables. They will be sitting on lazy susans under the table and slowly rotating and making eye contact with the donors/diners. Of course we were warned that we will not be able to leave to pee, etc. That the diners may try to feed us, give us drinks, fondle us under the table, etc but will be warned not to. Whatever happens, we are to remain in performance mode and unaffected. What the fuck?! And the chosen performers are expected to be there all day friday and saturday. The hours probably total 15 or more and the pay is $150 (plus a MOCA one year membership!!!). I am utterly appalled. This should be illegal. There is another audition for another role where the performers lie naked on tables with fake skeletons on them. Since I cannot stomach being a turning, severed head while people get drunk in front of me, I am seriously considering taking a naked role and performing an intervention at the gala celebration where I use my body as a surface to communicate the fact that I worked x number of hours for $150.... read more

The Conversation: an Artist Podcast with Bari Ziperstein

Ante Script from Geoff: Allow me, my friends, to introduce you to The Untitled Art Podcast, a new voice in Notes on Looking land. Michael Shaw, a friend and colleague, has been working on artist interviews for several months and continues to work, day and night. Enjoy this time with Bari Ziperstein – you will learn about her practice and gain insight to the life of a working artist in Los Angeles. Many more interviews are waiting in the wings! I’m posting this podcast tonight, Thursday, November 10, in advance of our dedicated launch date of Friday, November 11 (11-11-11) in part to repay Bari’s generous assistance, advice and patience. Bari Ziperstein was first, and so she shall remain. Honestly, another part of my decision to post this interview early is plain old strategy: My friends – once you get a taste of this Koolaid you’ll never want to stop. Come back tomorrow for much more! I swear on a stack of sound waves we shall have three or four additional podcasts for you on Friday, Nov 11. Smiling. Thanks Michael, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am. And special thanks to Bari. XO Geoff Addendum posting on the morning of November 11, 2011: Podcasts are coming out every hour today, super cool! Rowan Wood is ON DECK NOW. Christopher Michlig at 9:00 AM Molly Larkey at 10:00 AM Adam Miller at 11:00 AM Eben Goff at NOON Aaron Sandnes at 10:30 (tricked you, huh?) You get the idea, we keep ’em rolling out for you. BUT WAIT – HOW MUCH MORE EXCITEMENT CAN YOU STAND?... read more