LA Talks /

Controlled Disruption / Jeremy Everett

Born in Colorado in 1979, artist Jeremy Everett used to live in Paris and recently moved to Los Angeles. Darren Flook talks with him about the greatest American monuments, Land Art and construction sites.

Overturned trucks spilling milk across a highway, smoke blown onto a canvas by the wind, soil-eroded photographs of cheer leaders… There is a love of chance here, and also a feeling for American imagery, decay and impermanence. I wonder where this comes from in your practice? Can you fill me in a little on the connecting threads of your interests? What are the central motivating drives of this character called Jeremy Everett?

The greatest American monument is the highway; to wreck a truck full of milk is a very specific and important gesture that was absolutely necessary to me. While growing up in the US I was surrounded by subjects like the American cheerleader; I buried these photographs as a way of finding visual meaning, vital meaning. The paintings made with colored smoke began with chance but eventually developed into something more factual, revealing the painting structure as surface and as something to see. The painting became a photocopy of itself. All of the work is connected by a visual truth or fact, a reduction towards the absolute.

There seems to be a relationship to action. To overturn a truck — the act of finding it, filling it with milk, getting someone to flip the thing and then getting in a helicopter to film the result. The same with the smoke paintings — you build a box of canvases, let off the smoke bomb… All are actions, or at least active approaches to image making, which is a roundabout way of asking if there is a conversation with Land Art and monumental sculpture?

It’s important these images have the visual charge of an action. I want to perform this work whether it’s monumental or unmonumental and get the visual results through direct production. Michael Heizer’s Double Negative had a big influence on me early on and also a lot of Smithson’s temporary works that only exist now through photographs. Beyond using similar methods of documentation, I don’t feel my work has a connection to Land Art. I am producing works that participate inside of life, not isolated outside of it. I closed the highway so I could wreck the truck. I wanted the sculpture to temporarily stop the system.

I never thought of the closing of the highway as a part of the work. Do you think of the disruption caused by the smoke works in a similar vein? 

Initially I was imagining a disruption in the city, like a badly timed firework, leaving a cloud of red pigment in the sky. I did my first smoke piece on a rooftop in the center of Paris.  It is a very uniform, horizontal city, so you could see the color hanging just above the buildings for about ten minutes. I asked a photographer to document the duration of the piece from the roof of the Pompidou. After setting it off things turned hectic quickly. The neighbors called the cops and I ended up running through the streets to get away just in time before getting caught.

The next development of these works is using the smoke pigment to expose pieces of architecture, leaving a monochromatic photocopy of the exhibition space.  With the smoke works it’s more interesting if the disruption happens inside of a gallery.

I also used these ideas of disruption and intervention in my works in situ. One example was when I found a construction site in south of France with a front end loader completely stranded in a body of water. It is the perfect sculpture. I convinced them to stop working for the rest of the day, so I could photograph it.

I’d like to ask you about location. You now live and work in LA — a city very different from Paris and one currently very much in the art press. Do you think that move has affected your work? 

Yes, there is a freedom in LA that has changed my work — the availability of material and an opportunity to work at a larger scale that I didn’t have in New York or Paris. The foundation of the city is Hollywood, and all of the production material, printers, fabricators, etc., can be used for art making. Visually the light is unrelenting and incredible. I am always surrounded by a questionable reality. My studio is located on Broadway downtown, above Elvira’s Wedding Chapel. On one side is the building where Blade Runner was filmed, and on the other side is the shop where OJ Simpson bought the knife that was used in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson.

* * *

As I leave the conversation, I’m left with a sense of Everett as a kind of filmmaker — not in the literal sense of shooting films, but as Hitchcock said: “Film is collage.” It’s this sense of image following image, object from action and image again that stays with me. That and the fact/fiction crossover that is Los Angeles.

by Darren Flook

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Review /

Aleksandra Domanović Art Space Pythagorion / Samos

A former island hotel, Samos’s Art Space Pythagorion, converted in 2012, now hosts one exhibition yearly. In 2015, it’s that of Aleksandra Domanović, whose show uses the gallery space’s one-time hotel lobby to stage a sort of historical LARP of another: the Hotel Marina Lučica, built in 1971 on the Dalmatian coast, once a symbol of socialist modernity.

Domanović holidayed there with her family in 1990, shortly before the outbreak of civil war in the former Yugoslavia. After having been appropriated as a Croatian army base, then as accommodation for Croat refugees, the hotel now sits in ruins.

As in the superimposition of two photographs that don’t wholly line up, certain differences are obscured, while other details seem to have undergone phantasmagoric shifts. A replica of the Marina Lučica’s sign, Signboard (2015), graces the gallery’s entrance onto a seaside courtyard and pier; the original seems to have disappeared around the early 2000s. Underneath the signboard, installed outdoors, is an oversized chess set, Outdoor Chess (2015), such as the one Domanović first came across at Marina Lučica. Here, the pieces are produced in the likeness of the Dubrovnik chess set, designed on the occasion of the 9th Chess Olympiad in 1950. Domanović takes liberties in her re-enactment, and the exhibition’s loose blend of truths and departures creates a rich historical layering animated by contextual anachronisms. Inside the gallery, an original hotel door from the unrenovated second floor of the art space is installed inconspicuously in a doorway (Room 207, 2015).

Domanović speaks to the lived experience of political historical narratives in three videos: Turbo Sculpture (2010–2013), 19:30 (2010–2011), and From yu to me (2013–2014). At 35 minutes long, From yu to me follows its protagonist — the domain name .yu, the national country code for Yugoslavia established in 1989 and deleted in 2010 — over the course of two simultaneous trajectories: the material development of an international internet in the Balkans, and the political dissolution of the idea of Yugoslavia.

by Tess Edmonson

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News /

Inspired by Capitalism 3hd Festival / Berlin

“It’s all in the internet,” says Daniela Seitz, one half of Berlin-based party organizers, now festival curators, Creamcake. “It’s like an underground new music scene inspired by pop culture, capitalism, all this crazy excess and image-making.”

Meticulously constructing their own image across parties for the last four years, the duo, which includes co-founder Anja Weigl, have been putting on an impressive and progressive program of Creamcake nights with names like Lil B, DJ Paypal, Kelela, Yen Tech and Hannah Diamond.

Their visual identity is unmistakable, their taste in underground sounds impeccable, and they’re taking it to the next level with their first 3hd Festival, running online and off from October and culminating in an IRL events program in Berlin, December 2 to 5. This year’s theme is “The Labor of Sound in a World of Debt.” Internationalization, hybridization, precarity and constant change — these are the things that come with the internet. “Capitalism opens a bunch of doors,” adds Seitz. “Globalization and technology made this happen, but now we also have to deal with the consequences.”

These concepts you’re working with for 3hd Festival — are they things that you applied as you programmed the Creamcake parties? Or did they reveal themselves in the process?

Daniela Seitz: Because we are so fascinated by these cross-shore styles in underground music culture, which are not so represented in any type of Berlin festival, we really wanted to just do one like the Creamcake parties: with a lot of love and adventurous sounds. We wanted to talk about and reflect on what we think is most important for people in our community. Everyone is a hybrid character — working as artists and composers, and with so many types of different media. That’s something we really would like to debate in a more significant format.

Having seen the program, it’s not exactly what I expected. Because it’s open to more academic ideas and also going beyond what’s fashionable right now in terms of post-internet.

DS: That’s the funny thing — it’s always a mix of everything. It’s between people who have an academic degree, or don’t need or want one, or have just started. We accidentally remixed a piece of a movie soundtrack for Hannah Lippard’s performance at “Fragments of a Scene” back in April. The song was written by one of the composers in the program. It’s very exciting to work with him now. He loves to play around with technology — as much as he loves classical instruments. We are really excited about the different people who are coming together for 3hd.

Anja Weigl: We wanted to organize an ambitious platform: a festival environment with a varied daytime program including discussions and an exhibition to compliment the familiar Creamcake party concept. Our aim with 3hd is to bring people into a different context, introducing them to different surroundings, like HAU Hebbel am Ufer and Vierte Welt.

It’s interesting to think about Creamcake taking mainstream culture as its core inspiration.

DS: Yes. I wouldn’t even say just “inspired.” We reflect it because we are also part of it, you know? You cannot not be influenced by pop culture. But the vibe is aggressive, deconstructive, and really more disturbed in that sense. You will see.

by Steph Kretowicz

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Rachel Rose in conversation with Laura McLean-Ferris at Frieze London’s Reading Room

Rachel Rose, known for her haptic installations and videos that consider the limits of perception and certain qualities of feeling and comprehension, is the subject of a feature by Beau Rutland in Flash Art’s October issue.

Rose, who will have her first major institutional solo shows this fall, and is the winner of the Frieze Artist Award 2015, sits with Laura McLean-Ferris, Flash Art US Editor, to discuss various perceptual universes, and in particular her new video work, Everything and More, which will be premiered at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, on October 30.

October 14, 2015
3:30 pm
Frieze London
Reading Room

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Review /

Lucas Arruda Lulu / Mexico City

Only three small paintings comprise the show “Deserto-Modelo,” a quiet exhibition of works by Lucas Arruda at Lulu in Mexico City. Each is a meticulous exercise in formal technique, and illustrates the complexity of layers behind even the most simple of paintings.  

The three paintings, all Untitled (Deserto-Modelo) and produced in 2015, depict seascapes at differing points of the day. Each has distinct qualities to potentially identify three distinct places, and vary in their choice of color, horizon and atmospheric qualities. The artists visible brush strokes and the manipulation and play of light in the canvases are two central components in each composition. As varied as each of the three paintings are, the light radiates from the center of each of them, around which the remainder of the compositional elements are placed. Without a doubt these are paintings that exemplify a strong formal consideration about painting itself. Each seascape is an exploration of the technique of landscape painting itself and the artist’s obsessive interest with the medium.

The three seascapes are entirely imagined by Arruda. They are illusions of geographies that could be, and moments of ephemerality worth experiencing. In the small space of Lulu, the paintings are contemplative, offering a sense of nostalgia for a place once visited, or a longing for a place yet to be seen. There is an intimacy in the space and in the small moments of the paintings that draw the body closer in order to observe every meticulous detail and envelope the eye in an experience that is at once tangible and metaphysical.

“Deserto-Modelo” is an example of the artist’s breadth and depth in the formal technique of painting, yet still offers personal moments of contemplation that balance the formal execution of the medium and the nuanced geography. The paintings are at once formal explorations and contemplative moments, both technical and existential; together in this exhibition they provide a space of formal consideration in their quiet beauty.

by Leslie Moody Castro

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Arena /

Office Baroque / Brussels

Office Baroque was founded by Marie Denkens and Wim Peeters in Antwerp in 2007.
The gallery moved to Brussels in the fall of 2013, and last September it opened a second exhibition space in the midtown area of the city — a testament to its ongoing commitment to the flourishing local art scene. Flash Art asked Peeters about the ethos and scope of the gallery program.

How is the new space going to function along with the downtown location?

The midtown space will serve as a continuation of the downtown one. It will allow us to curate exhibitions in a more flexible way and offer the ideal platform and scale for each project we embark on. Thanks to the space’s proximity to the Bozar and Etablissement d’en Face, we will be able to reach a wider audience. So the space is both a particular location in the city we decided to engage with as well as a new horizon we have set in developing the gallery program.

The gallery program is almost a decade old. On the one hand, it highlights a consistent exploration of the legacy of color field and hard edge in contemporary painting — the gallery shows both David Diao, among the first “commentators” on those styles, and younger representatives such as Davis Rhodes, Neil Campbell and Aaron Bobrow. On the other hand, it includes artistic figures renown for the singularity and radicalness of their practices; I think here about Michel Auder, Kirsten Pieroth and B. Wurtz, for example. What is the ethos behind such an eclectic roster of artists?

All of the artists we represent relate to different traditions or genres in a highly idiosyncratic way. We see the gallery as a platform that can communicate across media and disciplines, as well as between different generations. Since our inception we have had an equal interest in minimalism, conceptualism, painting, video and photography. It’s an eclectic take at first inspection, but over the long run a pattern emerges, connecting people apparently working in isolated media but operating them with the logic of other media. I believe that is how we make apparently incompatible positions come together.

Office Baroque was born in the wake of a “renaissance” within the Belgian art industry, and certainly contributed to the emergence of the myth of Brussels as a new mecca for a younger generation of artists. The gallery, however, represents only one Belgian, Brussels-based Jan De Cock, whose first show with Office Baroque was last winter. What are your thoughts regarding local art production?

We have always taken an international stance, even if you look at the institutional work we did at Extra City, before running the gallery and before moving to Brussels. From that history we carry along a strong connection with the Belgian art scene. Jan De Cock is an amazingly exciting artist whom we are happy to represent, once more expanding the scope of the gallery program. I do see more Belgian artists showing at Office Baroque — it’s not a matter of aesthetics. We adore the work of people like Guillaume Bijl or Jan Vercruysse or Ria Pacquée. Looking at the emerging generation, Thomas Gilissen is a tremendous artist.

Liam Everett and Anke Weyer are the last two artists who joined the gallery’s roster. The art of both can be labeled as gestural abstraction, suggesting a shift in the gallery’s program toward more market-oriented art. What is your position regarding the art market’s speculative bubble, which gestural abstract painting specifically seems to fuel?

Weyer and Everett are artists whose work originates in a deep and fundamental studio practice based not on the findings of an analysis of the contemporary art world, but on questioning and revisiting fundamental notions of art. It’s biased to say that gestural abstract art is commercial while figurative art, on the contrary, is critical and anti-commercial. Alliances between genres and markets are contextual and historical, and I believe, in the case of Weyer and Everett, their work has a complexity that reveals itself only over time, which is a quality we have to work hard to preserve in the current market.

Office Baroque represents the estate of American experimental filmmaker Owen Land. Land was also among the first to show at the gallery, in 2008, three years before he died suddenly. Can you tell us more about your encounter with Land and his work? And can you share some insight about the estate’s future projects?

The Estate is a collaboration between the gallery and the Filmmuseum Austria in Vienna. During Owen’s life, we were able to edition all of his work and secure reproduction rights. Land’s seminal Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering, Dirt Particles, Sprocket Holes, etc. (1965) will be one of the centerpieces in the exhibition “Ordinary Pictures” at the Walker in Minneapolis starting on October 9. As for plans with Land at the gallery, we will be inviting curators to make a selection of Owen Land’s films for screenings in the midtown gallery in early spring 2016. Encountering Land and being able to work with Kunsthalle Bern to complete “Dialogues” in 2009, his first new work in twenty-five years, has left a deep impact on us and is an important milestone in how we run the gallery — an example of the commitments we like to make.

by Michele D’Aurizio

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