Monday, May 28, 2007

Gold Country Log Phase Two

One of the surprises of the Ishi Gathering and Seminar 2007 was meeting Bob Burrill (right), twin brother to Gathering mainspring Richard. According to Bob, "Dick" never displayed his legendary energy levels until he started walking the Ishi path. Such is inspiration. Speaking of inspiration, here's the trailer for "Robert's" legendary 70's cult ecological horror movie 'The Milpitas Monster', which I just ordered off Amazon.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Critical Catchup 02

It's not on Amazon or the OTIS or LA Louver websites yet, but I can state with near certainty that the beautiful catalog for "Don Suggs: One Man Group Show" is real. The cover shows a detail from "Black Cross, New Mexico (Matrimony Series)" (2006), currently on view as part of the artist's solo show Concentric at Louver. Part of the Patrimony/Matrimony series, it is a translation of one of a dozen or so archetypal art historical paintings, sampling each band of color from the original's formal or psychological center outward. In this case, the source image was Georgia O'Keefe's 1929 masterpiece.

Curiously, the work can also be seen in the background of this grainy surveillance photo of a homeless crazy man being interviewed by Homeland Security. Clearly their vertiginous qualities have a variety of applications, both aesthetic and practical.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Critical Catchup 01

I keep forgetting that I'm an art critic. But here's a link to my previous piece for the LA Weekly, a round-up of gals at Bergamot Station, including Marnie Weber, Karen Carson, and Shirley Tse, whose sculpture "Sink Like a Submarine" includes the carved jade heart pictured above.

My current piece is a review of the Hammer's "Eden's Edge" which includes Elliot Hundley's seminal styro-palette "Deathless Aphrodite of the Spangled Mind" from 2003.

Marnie Weber's Spirit Girls gave a typically coffin-rattling performance Friday night in conjunction with the Hammer's screening of the artist's film and videographic oeuvre. Above, a homeless crazy man prostrates himself before Lead Spirit Girl. Weber's exhibition at Patrick Painter has been extended through June 2nd.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Gold Country Log Phase One

I spent the better part of a week with filmmaker Lee Lynch travelling to Oroville CA for the 6th Annual Ishi Gathering and Seminar held there on May 11th and 12th. Lee and I are working on several projects detailing the 1870 murder of local Indian hunter Hi Good, including our contributions to the Gathering: a multimedia Living History presentation (I did sound and the shadow puppet show) starring and presented for Oroville high school students at the Butte County Historical Society. Our other actors included seminar mainspring anthropologist Richard Burrill (“By socks, but the spirit of Hi Good will rise tonight, and celebrate! He was the fellow that made the sons of roosters hunt their holes, and when they finally plugged him, there was mighty few of them left to rejoice, mighty few.”) and "Nuggets" who played Ishi in a flash-forward sequence. The Monster Indian costume modeled by Lee in an earlier post was a personification of the dehumanizing mechanism at work in the young narrator of our story as he shoots a Native American burglar, and was worn by one of the student actors.

"Nuggets" spent most of the weekend in character. Here he poses catatonically on the lawn of the BCHS for several minutes with excited schoolchilden puzzled at his lack of response. Seconds later, he leapt forward with a loud cry, scattering the thrilled and frightened 4th-graders in every direction.

Unfortunately, this is one of only two shots I got of the Feather Fiesta Days Parade, as I was in costume handing out fliers for "An Evening in Ishi's World Through Film and Drama." Missed shots include the Christian preschool aerobics float, the giant Taco Bell taco proclaiming 'Thinking Outside the Bun Since 1969' and the mature and Rubenesque exotic belly dancers on an unadorned flatbed truck. But this shot captures the spirit of the event nicely. I thought I was getting hot in my Indian Fighter get-up, but I saw Mr. Team Mascot about a half hour later stripped to his jogging shorts. It was hot!

More photos to come and up now at flickr.

"Who Doesn't Like Owls?"

As contemporary philosopher C. Clerc observed in the title of her seminal text "Who Doesn't Like Owls?," who doesn't like owls? This cunning turn of phrase returned to me recently while I was guest-juring the annual student exhibit at the righteous Pasadena City College. It was a chore, with over 220 works to sort through. The painting above, "If the Waking Life Fell Asleep" by Heber Rodriquez caught my eye immediately, and I kept returning to it. Another work that attracted and held my attention was Marcus Anthony's intricate carved wooden wall relief portrait of DJ Kool Herc, though I could do without the text panel plunked in the middle of the negative space. I'd be pleasantly surprised to come across either of these works in a gallery or grad school. These kind of gigs are sometimes a radical challenge to preconceptions about the supposed function of The Art World as qualitative filter -- not only do you see a vastly wider range of unprocessed creativity in play, but many of the works are equal to or better than anything out there.

Pardon Our Dust!

Okay, TSM3 went swell, thanks to everyone who participated, and don't forget Noel Lawrence of the JX Williams Archive will be delivering his full presentation on the great man's work tonight (Friday the 25th) at Showcave, and Found Footage Festival will be screening an entirely new side-splitting program of found video at M Bar tonight and tomorrow. Now I have a few minutes to catch y'all up on what's what in the greater Wilmington district...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mongo Video

Still from safety film "Life is For Living" rescued by Found Footage Festival, who will be presenting new material at TSM3 on Wednesday

Please note: The event is on Wednesday the 23rd, NOT Thursday the 24th, and it has now been moved to Gallery 6 instead of the Wilder Theater.

JUST ADDED: a short program of lost work from the cult director J.X. Williams!

7 p.m., Wednesday May 23

Thrift Store Movie Night III

UCLA Department of Art Event at
UCLA Hammer Museum, Gallery 6


For the third year, the UCLA Hammer Museum and the UCLA Department of Art welcome L.A. Weekly art critic Doug Harvey and other archivists of found media for the presentation of films, videos and slides rescued from the obscurity of thrift stores, swap meets and dumpsters.

The evening includes excerpts from recent and upcoming programs by the Coalition for Cinematic Conservation and Preservation at the Echo Park Film Center, possibly including an educational filmstrip on the wonders of the banana, "20 Minutes to Go," vintage Asian and Indian music videos, and the classic "ABC of S*x Education for Trainables," and a selection from NY artist Brian Bellott's DVD collection of found photographs!

This year's guest curators include Animal Charm, whose disturbing and hilarious video jams bring Bruce Conner's loopy aesthetics into the digital era with such mind boggling deconstructions as "Slow Gin Soul Stallion," "Pet Programming" and the amazing "Stuffing." Animal Charm will debut several brand new works at this screeening!

Also presenting will be Brooklyn's Found Footage Festival, hosted by curators Geoff Haas, Joe Pickett and/or Nick Prueher, who will provide their unique observations and commentary on found video obscurities ranging from the world's worst telemarketers "John & Johnny" to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's scintillating take on Brazilian culture in 1983's "Carnival in Rio." FFF will also be presenting a new full length program at the M Bar 1253 N. Vine Street (at Fountain Avenue) in West Hollywood on May 24, 25, & 26.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Harrier Still

I just came across this pretty good little documentary about Harry Smith, and since the Harry Smith Anthology Remixed show is still up in at in Newcastle, I figured what the hell. Poke around on the altgallery site - there's a complete full color online catalog with all 84 pieces, including awesome works by Jad Fair, Yamantaka Eye, dearraindrop, Christian Cummings, and many others!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ishi Madness in Oroville

Just got back from a week in Gold Country giving multimedia living history presentations to high school kids, among other things. Full report shortly, plus several overdue posts when I've caught up on my chores.

Monday, May 7, 2007

A Hinterland Who's Who

For Cinco de Mayo I managed to finagle a seat on 'Hinterlands Redux,' The Center for Land Use Interpretation's tour of the high desert east of Los Angeles organized in conjunction with Andrea Zittel's mid-career survey at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary. I was probably the only non-CLUI staffmember aboard that had been on the original 'Hinterlands' tours 10 years ago -- one of the watershed "artworks" of the 90's IMPO. So I may have been the only person to miss roadside artist Moby Dick's carved entities (though I still have mine from the first trip -- see fig 02) and being able to approach Giant Rock (though we did make it to the Integratron)

The trip included a visit with Ms. Zittel at her A-Z West compound, where the artist was deep in preparation for next weekend's High Desert Test Sites extravaganza. Here are a couple of snapshots I snuck in one of the artist's shipping container studios of what I believe to be a prototype of her Wagon Station modular living breadbox units -- this one customized for the planet Kashyyyk.

Although 'Hinterlands Redux' was a little long on the high cluture and short on the industrial slag heaps, it did afford me the oppurtunity to finally visit the late Noah Purifoy's remarkable and inspiring assemblage environment in Joshua Tree, which people have been telling me I would love for years and they were right. Here's a shot of one of several performative environments that stud this unique site. For more complete information, why not contact the Canadian Wildlife Service in Ottawa?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Pachyderms in the Irish Mist

Here is a photo of your humble moderator at the podium at the Getty expounding briefly on the links between Alcohol Withdrawal Delerium and the work of Tim Hawkinson. Here is a portion of my address. (Photo by J. Chertkow)

"Zoopsia is a rarely used clinical psychiatric term referring to animal hallucinations during severe alcohol withdrawal – a symptom of Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium or delirium tremens. This very serious condition -- which can include sleep disturbance, heart palpitations, disorientation, sweating, panic attacks, multisensory hallucinations, seizures, and ultimately death – is thought to result from the desensitization of the nervous system to inhibitory neurotransmitter Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, and typically affects heavy-drinking long term alcoholics. While literature pertaining directly to this specific symptom is surprisingly rare, I managed to track down a film segment from the early 1940s documenting a particularly severe incident of alcohol-induced Zoopsia. [Roll Clip]"