I am excited to announce the final edit of my 2009-12 project, i dream in your language, will premiere in MIA: Strange Loop, curated by Alanna Simone, at the Armory Center for the Arts, Friday July 27 at 7pm. Here’s the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MIA SCREENING, STRANGE LOOP
New Series Screens Video Art & Experimental Films
This month’s event takes place on July 27th at 7PM and features five projects each dealing with communication and misunderstanding.
Orgasmatique, Dramatique, Horror (2009) is a short performance questioning the portrayal of women and emotion in pornography, melodrama and horror films from Washinton D.C. artist Melissa Bruno.
Los Angeles artist Michele Jaquis envies people who speak multiple languages. Her series, i dream in your language (2009-2012) investigates the experience of seven such people, revealing the complex negotiations they undertake to translate and interpret words and meaning.
San Francisco based Whitney Lynn asks a rabbit (repeatedly) to ‘sit’ for a portrait in Commissioned (After W.W.) (2010).
The Complect Voice (Suite for Birds and Mammals) (2012) attempts to include a variety of animals in a musical collaboration with the artist Julie Rooney and composer Jonathan Sokol, both based in Boulder, CO.
The Foreignness of Language (2011) by Nina Ross explores the disruption of personal identity the artist experienced as she incorporated a second language after leaving Melbourne, Australia to live in Norway.
The MIA series began in June of 2012, founded by video artist Alanna Simone to promote the work of artists who use the moving image. Every 4th Friday the MIA series screens video art, experimental films, performance art, essay films and animation from local and international artists at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103 (map). Each program is organized around a theme and lasts a little over an hour. A donation of $5 is suggested.
So, about a month ago Michele and I went up to the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena to check out their 20th anniversary show, Installations Inside/Out. For the show, they have works in all their spaces as well as in public locations around the city. We had already seen the Bruce Nauman skywriting project, which was a part of the show and was documented in the gallery (and see my video/photos in an earlier post), but we have yet to catch the rest of the works they have scattered around Pasadena. While the title implies it’s a show of installation art, not all the work was installation or site specific, like the Rushca painting greeting you upon entry or the large wall-hung pieces. The Caldwell Gallery show drew from artists from the Armory’s exhibition history and included striking works from Pae White and Kim Abeles with Ken Marchionno.
Abeles and Marchionno presented a room wallpapered with cartoonish trompe l’oeil drawings and inset videos to create room-scapes with views out, detailing how Native Americans are viewed by contemporary culture. The graphics and videos were compellingly integrated to develop mediated rooms, small settings that referred to both an interior and a view beyond. I was really into the technique of integrating the videos as both elements of the wallpaper and images in frames – check the photos to see what I am talking about. The objects in the drawings are life size, and the piece wraps all sides of a small room off the main gallery space.
Pae White’s large tapestry works dominated the central space of the gallery. Facing each other and taking up a whole wall each, their banal subject matter (smoke, and crinkled mylar or tinfoil) became large scale murals. A closer look revealed the weaving technology involved, and the patterns up close are digital/analogue hybrid abstractions literally woven from threads as the process used translated image into weave to create the fabric.
Bruce Nauman, Untitled (Leave the Land Alone), 1969/2009
This weekend started off with a trip up to Pasadena to see Bruce Nauman’s unrealized 1969 project finally realized for the Armory Center for the Arts’ 20th Anniversary. We went to a viewing location hosted by Side Street Projects, and watched as five planes criss-crossed the sky, outputting fluffy cloud dots which resolved into the text “Leave the Land Alone”.
It was interesting to us the change in context for this work, from its initial response to the land art projects of the 1960’s to today where it could reasonably be assumed it was a green/ecological statement referring to land use and global warming.
After watching them etch the sky in gigantic letters for four passes and catching up with a few friends who also showed up, we headed off to Side Street Projects’ campus further up in Pasadena to check out their Armadillo (a FEMA trailer converted by MIT students into a vertical garden which Side Street won), their wood shop buses, and their collection of air-stream trailer offices.