Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Laetitia Sonami

In my senior seminar class the artist Latitia Sonami came in to talk about her work.  Lantitia Sonami is a French performance and sound artist.  She spoke about and demonstrated her project which she class the "Lady's Glove".  It is a glove that is wired with sensors that are feed into a processor that creates sound when she touches and moves her hand.  The glove she describes as her instrument in which she conducts her music and performance.  The performance felt graceful, organic, and natural because she was using her won body to create this piece.

I also found it amazing that as an artists Sonami can stick with this project for many years slowly altering, refining, and improving it.  She explain that when she first constructed the glove that it was large and bulky but with the improvements in technology her glove has become for refined and smaller.  I can admire her dedication because I feel that in my own work i tend to skitter from one idea to another.

Overall it was a very interesting lecture/performance.

UC Berkeley Anthropology Museum

I stumbled upon this museum one day while walking around the campus with a friend.  I was pleasantly surprised with the exhibits and general layout of the collection.  It was very informative and covered a wide range of cultures (ie. ancient Mediterranean, ancient Egypt, south America etc.) and topics (ie. religion, war, textiles ect.).  Their where some activities that where very hands on such as making fabric or using magnets to design a cloak.  Even though the museum is small (perhaps a bit bigger then the prieto lab) it was well designed and informative. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oakland 1946!

Here's the link to our show's blog, with the front page Tribune article. Photos coming in that spot soon.

Jason Hanasik

It was very easy to relate to Hanasik for me... I really felt like none of his art was going over my head. Which is kind of nice.

I loved his perspective on the portrayal of men and manliness. I found it interesting that his softer view of men was interpreted as some kind of "gay gaze", in which all images of men looking vulnerable are viewed through a lens of desire.

I also appreciated his conflict with not wanting to give away queer subculture to the masses. It's a fine line between keeping something sacred and exposing it to the public, and his project on cruising and dens really skirts that line in a beautifully subtle way.

Faviana Rodriguez

I was so inspired by Rodriguez's lecture. For one, I loved her views on the accessibility of art. It definitely made me reconsider an academic paper I was supposed to be writing for queer studies. Instead I chose to do a zine, for reasons of reproducibility, etc. Secondly, I loved the boldness of her graphics, and found some of her images to be picasso-esque. Thirdly, I didn't have any real grasp on what the Mexican government thought of art before, and was amazed to find out that art is views as a human right.

She covered a ton of ground in her talk, and I thought she was so well spoken and inspirational.

Ginger Wolfe Suarez

I watched the video for Wolfe-Suarez. But the audio was all kinds of messed up. Most of what I gathered was that she draws inspiration primarily from the work of her peers. She really didn't discuss her own work. But at the end of the lecture I came to the conclusion that one does not need to be skilled in a craft to be an artist. Only a fondness for art, good connections in the art community, and lots of ideas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Okay, so I'm looking over my meager posts and I don't see the one I thought I did about the Ginger Wolfe Suarez + Korean women artists exhibit that's been running all this fall at the art museum. I'm not sure where in cyber space it may have wound up. Sigh.
Anyway, I did go check it out way back in the early fall. I enjoyed seeing the work of the women artists, especially the ones with the tiny red beans that looked like pomegranate seeds and the flowing one in the center that looked like people moving. Originally I had all of the names of the artists, but I'm old and I've forgotten them by now.
The Suarez installation was moving, especially the old banners, but I'd have to say honestly that I didn't really "get" the telephone poles and sandbags.
Probably more later.

Chris Santa Maria

Another Arizona artist who I first discovered at Eye Lounge gallery during a split show with my photo teacher, and later saw his work again at the Phoenix Art Museum. He is a painter, and of his work that I've seen that I find most striking are of seven very life like bust portraits that are about 3 by 5 feet in size. He uses texture like you wouldn't believe, the paint literally comes inches of the canvas. They're so intricately detailed that you can make out pores on the subjects skin, they look like photographs from a distance. I'm not familiar with the rest of his work, but from what I have seen, he seems like an artist worth getting to know.

Faviana Rodriguez lecture

Last but not least (sorry to have dumped all these in one day!). I also was able to watch the video of Rodriguez’ lecture. I had looked at her work online, but it was great to get to hear her speak about her images, where they came from and their effect. I love that she uses her work to send a message not from a gallery, but through the public and public space. I was also excited about the conceptual website she created pulling images based on data ‘representing’ perceptions and judgments of illegal immigrants. I found her clarity about the connections between her personal self and her political passions and how she represents that in her work inspiring! Also inspiring to me is the range of issues she deals with, her deep understanding about where they are connected, and her ability to educate and motivate others around them.

Chad Knapp

Swat Team- The Musical
Chad Knapp is an Arizona artist, who used to show his work in the gallery I worked at. He is a high school art teacher, but he continues to make these pen and ink drawings which I happen to enjoy very much. He always incorporated the blankness of the canvas and I like the emphasis that it gives to his subjects. He has a series of work that are all titled "Self Portrait" though they are all portrait of various individuals doing many random things. The two images above are of some of my favorites that he showed in the gallery. The actual size of his drawings are generally quite large, but these images don't translate the size very well.

I posted this site before, but here is another look. How can we reconcile beauty with destruction or the sins of excess? I don’t think Chris Jordan sets out to answer this question with his photographs, but they are, despite their disturbing subject matter and the issues he presents, beautiful. Jordan’s most recent collection, In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster, offers over three dozen portraits of destruction and decay, each one harmonically composed, and many giving us striking glimpses of the intricate patterns and varieties of color that destruction and decay have shaped. It is as if he stumbled upon a city of strange found-object sculptures, or remnants of a film set. It is only because we know so well what Katrina truly was that we can draw the more disturbing conclusions from these pictures. Jordan says he is exploring Katrina as an “unnatural” disaster, likely connected to the global warming created by us. Initially, I saw the power of nature to destroy a city as if it were a tiny, inconsequential thing, but knowing Jordan’s intent, I was able to broaden my perspective and see a possible (probable?) cycle- these things as they were before, how they may have contributed to an imbalance in our environment, and the consequences of that imbalance. This is all the more powerful a work in that it follows Jordan’s previous projects looking at the sheer amount of material waste we create. In his previous two works, Intolerable Beauty and Running the Numbers, Jordan also used enticing and beautiful images to convey his message. Does this approach make it more tolerant to look directly at these things no one wants to see about ourselves? I think so.

Kate Pzsotka

I went to Kate Pzsotka, who if I'm not mistaken, is a grad here at Mills. She uses many mediums including painting, sculpture, and ceramics to present her work. Some of her more interesting pieces we of cut up maps, or old report cards, or other random papers that she then weaved together. Some of the pieces were more three dimensional, while others lied flat. Much of her work seemed incomplete, or that she needed to push her ideas further, and I think she has the potential to do that, she just seemed unsure of where she wanted her work to go, but i think if she can figure that out she'll have a pretty interesting body of work. Some of her other work involved using crime reports or aerial maps to create a system of mapping out different points. Her goals were a little unclear, but her ideas have an interesting start, and it'd be nice to see where she goes with them in the future.

Ginger Wolfe Suarez

So I watched the video of Ginger Wolfe Suarez's lecture, however the audio tracking was scratched, so I only heard about every other few seconds. What I gathered from what I could hear is that she really likes other artists a lot, and that she really doesn't have much to show of her own work. I already knew this from having worked at the art museum all semester and seeing her "work" in the gallery every week. Most of it is appropriated historical pieces, and what is her own is not of much interest to me. I think her position that she takes to bring light to these historical political events, like the suffrage movement, is necessary. However, I feel that she should steer clear of labeling herself an artist, and stick to calling herself an activist.

Jason Hanasik

I went to Jason Hanasik's lunch lecture some weeks back, and was really interested in what he had to say about photographing your own family and presenting that as art. He said he struggled with what was appropriate and considerate of him to publish from photographs of his parents and his sister. Much like myself, he wonders if his family is aware of the way people may interpret his work by the way the subjects of the photograph are presented. He frequently works with presenting male subjects that challenge the standards for what is considered "normal" masculine representation. Which is why I was very interested in the image above, which features his father in a rather passive position, while his mother appears much more aggressive and assertive. In regards to my own work, he had mentioned a photograph that his father asked him to no longer show, and since then has never shown it, so I imagine I will continue to use the work of my own family until they ask me not too.

SFMOMA: Brought To Light: Photography and the Invisible 1840-1900

Brought To Light: Photography and the Invisible 1840-1900 is an exhibit of early scientific photography by both professional and amateur scientists. The curator, Corey Keller wrote of the photographs, “If they appear remarkably modern to us, it is in large part because science and photography have determined our idea of what modernity looks like.” And they did look aesthetically quite modern to me, but more interesting was the point that this early link between photography and science contributed to breaking down our civilization’s belief that seeing and knowing are the same. The show is broken down into several categories. “Spirit Photography” represents that period of time when multiple exposures gave Occultists wonderful “proof” of their work, and exposes (sorry ft pun) the disintegrating connection between truth and photography (still a tenuous connection we often make). The collection “Microscopes” when seen in the museum context certainly gave me a strong aesthetic impression- I was reminded of Abstract Expressionism, as if the photographers were capturing their psychologies in compositions of single-celled organisms. GE's early demo pictures of alternating current (above) in "Electricity" are almost breathtakingly beautiful (except that I am a little jaded by ugly fractals). Another collection with a strong artistic bent is the “X-Rays,” where images of subjects skeletons seem to purposefully focus on identity through the presence of jewelry and clothes. “Motion Studies” (Muybridge) and “Telescopes” had less of an overall aesthetic impression on me, but were strong reminders of how our seeing has changed because of these very images. This show is on through Jan 4, 2009. www.sfmoma.org

Dustin Fosnot @ Steven Wolf Gallery

Cyanide was Dustin Fosnot’s debut solo exhibit and although a few pieces were on display, the piece Cyanide caught my attention and kept it so that I can hardly remember the others. On the floor were three blue mattresses, each with the outline of the artist’s body created by a cyanotype process. Initially I associated the blue of the mattresses, which was uneven and dotted like a starry sky, and the outlines of a person lying on them with the excitement and awe of childhood nights spent outside staring up at the sky, but after learning about Fosnot’s personal history and the process with which he made the piece, I had an altogether different impression. Fosnot spent several years homeless in the Bay Area and the first mattress was found on the streets where he had slept (all the mattresses were old and used). Creating a cyanotype with these mattresses meant lying on a cyanide coating and, knowing this, the outlines and materials shifted to associations with the outlines of dead bodies in crime scenes and the precariousness of life in the streets. I was then able to switch back and forth between these two impressions leaving me with feelings of both wonder and fear.

Todd Hido @ Stephen Wirtz Gallery

Todd Hido is another Bay Area photographer and this exhibit, A Road Divided, focused on landscapes. All the photographs appeared to be taken on the road and from inside a car. The weather is rainy or snowy in all of them and there is usually a mostly natural lanscape broken by the line of the road or telephone poles. But what made these images stand out is the painterly and cinematic quality of them created by blurred sections due to rain on glass (presumably the windshield). They are haunting and beautiful while feeling very contemporary. They appear to be manipulated, but, intriguingly, I could not tell what the manipulation might be, what was ‘natural’ and what created. You can see this collection on his site www.toddhido.com.

Sarah Hirneisen @ Mark Wolfe Gallery

There were several artists showing at the Mark Wolfe Gallery, but by far I was most moved by two pieces by Sarah Hirneisen, a local sculptor. The first, Naming Conventions, was an immaculate white case filled with rows of glass shelves on which sat small glass vials of Iraqi oil and carefully etched onto each of these was the name of an Iraqi citizen killed in the Iraq war. I found the juxtapositions of sterility with the messiness of oil, politics, death, and war, and the fragility of etched glass a powerful metaphor for the American-Iraqi relationship. The second piece, Inventory, was a spare metal house-shaped frame with glass squares filled with the contents of vacuum cleaners of various homes. On the back of each square, the contents within were meticulously cataloged. For me, the piece again dealt with juxtaposition, this time the work of the artist against domestic housework, pointing to how much meaning and value are changed by context. I also highly recommend her website www.sarahhirneisen.com!

David Nash @ The Haines Gallery

The Haines Gallery had an exhibit of David Nash’s work, a British artist who does mainly large wooden sculptures fastidiously carved with a chainsaw. I don’t connect with these sculptures, however, Nash’s work Wooden Boulder, reminiscent of Andy Goldsworthy’s series of Time pieces but with more of a sense of humor, gave me great pleasure. Nash carved the ‘boulder’ out of a very old oak tree which had been felled, then followed its journey with (almost) no intervention down a stream to the ocean over the next 25 years. Nash documented the journey with video, photos, and whimsical line drawings. This piece made me think about our intent in our creative work and how this intent might infuse our pieces. In the case of the boulder, I felt as if the witnessing and documenting of its intermittent journey might be animating it, transforming the journey into a performance more than a circumstance. I smiled a lot.

Garry Winogrand: The Sixties @ The Fraenkel Gallery

B&W works from the 1960s. Winogrand was one of the most influential photographers of his time (whose work I had never encountered before this exhibition). His work reminded me of Diane Arbus’ (who was also on exhibition here) because of the focus on people in their contexts, but with much more focus on the context- the era and the places where he was shooting. Two photos in particular struck me: He Had It: John F. Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 1960, and Los Angeles 1969. In the first image (above), we are seeing JFK from behind and, through the wonder of the video age, from the front; we are seeing the photographers aiming their cameras from behind a metal enclosure and the image they are capturing. We are also seeing this moment of leadership and hope as if amplified by the light reflecting off Kennedy’s face and raised hand. In Los Angeles in 1960, 3 women with black bouffants are wandering down Hollywood boulevard. They are looking down and to their right and we can wonder if they are noticing the Hollywood stars on the pavement or perhaps glancing at their own reflections in a large window. More probably they are seeing the figure of a disabled man drooping in his wheelchair as a little boy sitting at the nearby bustop is staring at him. But alongside all these interconnections, I am largely drawn to the geometric patterns of the shadows cast before the women, lining up in perfect symmetry with the stars on the pavement and I wonder if the man in the wheelchair sees them too. These images, as with Tama Hochbaum’s work, capture various aspects and the complexity of their subjects, also creating multiple frames within the image, but this time through the magic of a single shot. To see the second image go here: http://www.fraenkelgallery.com/index.php#mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&s=4&a=1&p=0&at=0

Tama Hochbaum @ Room For Painting Room For Paper

This is a new gallery at 49 Geary and Hochbaum was 1/2 of the first exhibition in the Room For Paper. Hochbaum uses a photographic collage technique similar to Masumi Hayashi (from Cocoa’s blog) and this exhibition was of her series of trees. I had an immediate visceral reaction to her work, the trees seemed alive, to be bursting through the multiple borders of the compositions. Her images brought to mind Cubism, of seeing many aspects at once, and also memory, how we perceive in such complex ways (angles, details, filters, moods, associations) and how our memory reflects that complexity sometimes more than present experience, how the photographic subjects themselves are complex, far too complex perhaps to capture in a single frame, which for me was particulary relevant to photographing trees. Some of the pieces were especially strong in this such as High Tree (above), High Trees at Dusk, and Evening on Gimghoul. You can see Hochbaum’s work at www.tamahochbaum.com.

I went to http://www.odcap.com/ today, which is short for Open Door-Contemporary Art Projects. The curator describes her mission as having a site where everyone, even those outside the art community, can contribute ideas or artists who they think should be noticed. I really enjoyed the work that was shown, especially Osi Audu and his Bodies of Water. The featured pieces were filled bottles of water formed into bodily shapes like that of a mermaid. I found it odd, however, that it was not overly clear where and how you could contribute. There was a contact email, but I thought that it was odd that I really had to search to figure out how I could directly contribute. Also it didn't specify what was contributed to the site by her or by others. I did, however, particularly like the voices section where there where contributions by various authors discussing artist shows and exhibits as well as sustainability which is a focus of the site as well.

Stanley Greene

"I want everyone to be as angry as I am," is Stanley Greene's answer as to why he feels he has to photograph death and violence. Stanley Greene was born in New York City in 1949 and later attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and then the SFAI where he was a member of the Black Panthers and anti-Vietnam war activist. Greene first came to international fame after he photographed the falling of the Berlin wall, but he is perhaps best known for his photojournalism in Chechnya. I unfortunately missed the first half because of unexpected and incredibly long traffic, but I arrived just in time to see him present Chalk Lines (15). The work was a video collection of his haunting and ghostly black and white images taken in Chechnya. Death and despair flooded every image in the form of blood-spattered walls, bomb and bullet ridden buildings, and charred, mutilated, and bloodied bodies. He described how he couldn't remain objective while amongst the people of Chechnya. He was right there with them as bombs were being dropped over head running alongside them while snapping photographs. The whole experience was incredibly intense for utter lack of a better word. Greene proved he is a war torn man as he cautioned those who want to become conflict photographers. He spoke of how he is 59 years old, single, and with only $100 in the bank and he said all of this without making eye contact with anyone. He explained that he developed what he called the 100 yard stare, where he can't look at people in the eye, but rather past them or he would simply look down at his podium. He described how overwhelmed he felt by all that he had experiences, yet strangely addicted to following conflicts at the same time. Greene perfectly highlights the incredible sacrifice that photojournalists and conflict photographers make in the attempt to share the truth with the rest of the world.

Electric Works

Hi y'all,

Me again. Again.

Friday night I went to an exhibit opening at Electric Works Gallery on 8th St. in SF.
It's a very interesting place and the exhibit had some wonderful stuff. Drawings by Paul Madonna, which really capture the feeling of SF, pencil sculptures by Bob van Breda that were imaginative (and expensive) origami sculptures, prints and more. The exhibit runs several more weeks, so check it out.

Here's the website: http://www.sfelectricworks.com/ew.htm


Friday, December 5, 2008

Favianna Rodriguez DVD

I am SO bummed that I missed the lecture! But I'm so glad that I was able to watch it on that dvd. The entire time I was nodding my head in agreement and was so into what she was talking about that I didn't even write any notes. I was told by a few people that I would really like her work and her ideas and style, and I was blown away with her art and its amazing connection to social justice resistance and education. She was so fluid with her transition between topics and spoke in a way that was easy to understand. It was apparent in her presentation that her art and ideas is for everyone and the fact that her art is not elitist or exclusive really echos in me. Favianna is articulate and seems like she would be a fun person to collaborate or work with. 

In the lecture she brought up the topic of the difference (if there is one) between art and propaganda. I thought it was a really interesting since i was asking similar questions when we were doing the propaganda posters. For me, successful art is when a piece is both aesthetically appealing and conceptually solid. It isn't an easy thing to balance most of the time and finding the equilibrium between the two is worth it in the end. Her work I feel takes both of those parts and puts it into a harmonious and fruitful relationship. 

I am definitely going to check out her upcoming events and keep looking at her work. Most inspiring! Thanks for the dvd! 
Me again. I'm updating my list of posts and wanted to say again how amazing I think Loretta Lux work is. I admire that no matter how pure and uncomplicated her work looks, it's got so many layers of interpretation. I'm still wondering if she alters the images to make the heads look just that bit larger.
It's so fitting that her own self-portrait is another surreal child-like image.
Here's a link, if you haven't already been here: http://www.lorettalux.de/
Ciao for now.
Thanks, Deirdre, for sharing the DVD of Favianna Rodriguez' lecture.
Her work is amazing and blurs the lines I've always drawn around photography and other media. It must be satisfying for her to pursue her passion while raising the awareness of everyone who comes in contact with her work.
I'll be interested in other reactions to it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

stretcher review

Still from taH pagh taHbe (To Be or Not to Be) (2006), Maria Antelman

I went to http://www.stretcher.org/ and was surprised to see reviews on shows that I had actually been to and seen. One of which was a review on We Interrupt Your Program from last Spring at the Mills Art Museum. The reviewer, Meredith Trumble, spoke on Maria Antelman's taH pagh taHbe, which was a particularly memorable piece for me. She also gave further insight into pieces that I hadn't spent much time with. Another review by Tucker Nichols was for the Lee Friedlander exhibit at the SFMOMA and video footage of commentary at the de Young by Gilbert and George amongst other local and the few international shows. I thought the reviews were thoughtful and intimate and only wished that the site had more current projects up.

MOMA otra vez...

So I went to the MOMA the other week and experienced, not saw, "The Art of Participation, 1950 To Now" exhibition. I was enthralled in how amazing it was. Almost the entire show was interactive, where the viewers could participate, build ongoing sculptures, act out a scene or touch the art. Since the first time any of us has walked into a museum, we've been told, "do not touch the work of art!!" either nicely or in a menacing way...so it was quite refreshing to touch the art. There was one exception to this. In the final corner of the exhibit, there was a sculpture/ installation piece featuring a wall full of beer on shelves. In front of that was a large fridge with the words "free beer" written on the fridge door. Instantly I wanted to open the fridge, and instantly the docent came over and reprimanded a man who actually followed through and was trying to open it!
I was very excited by Erwin Wurm's work. He had an entire wall covered in his one minute sculptures, and then a platform with implements and instructions for the viewers participation. I participated, of course. There was a video of the original "Cut Piece" by Yoko Ono viewed next to a current remake of the same piece. There was an entire piano along with blank liner notes in ode to John Cage. The exhibit could have been borderline childish, but it was more like a sophisticated Exploratorium for adults. I loved it!

Kurt Kauper

I went to hear Kurt Kauper lecture last night at SFAI. I definitely was a little nervous looking at his work. He said that that was his intention but by painting nude self-portraits and saying that all of his nude hockey players are him from the waist down, I was kind of speechless. He spoke about how he wanted to challenge the role of the male nude as being simply an example of homoerotism and into a form of admiration and respect. Yet his own professed idolization and obsession with Bobby Orr, (the Boston Bruins hockey player) was admittedly his childhood love. I really liked how he drew the parallel of how boys' sport collecting cards, are actually the size and shape of locket portraits. That the hyper-masculine sport idols are kind of doled out to these young boys in a kind of love relationship that challenges the boundaries of male gender roles. 

Masumi Hayashi

Masumi Hayashi is one of my new found favorite photographers. Maritess I think you would love her work if you are a fan of David Hilliard. What she does is amazing, creative and difficult. I've been trying to work in the vein of her work, and have found it to be extremely difficult and rewarding. Check out her photography online. She has visited all these beautiful places around the world and I think that the way she presents her ideas is more closer to the truth than most photography. Yeah she's tight. 

Bik Van Der Pol

I went to the Bik Van Der Pol lecture at SfAi. They have been working collaboratively since '95 and their work spans installation, public temporary architecture, live art, and sculpture. Architecture is a constant thread and influence in their work. 

What struck me most about the lecture was the fluidity between one another in terms of talking about their work. I have not done much highly collaborative work outside of class assignments and I admire the chemistry between them, just from hearing them speak and seeing images of their work it was obvious that they make a good team. Perhaps what interested me most about the lecture was the fact that they make decisions together and work as a team and not individuals and their collaboration goes beyond sporadic projects. 

It was interesting to go to a lecture that wasn't given by a painter or photographer. I think that Dena mentioned the bookshop project in her blog. That project was really cool to me also. They built a complete copy of a bookshop that they fell in love with in London. The exact measurements and books were available for sale to the public. How time consuming! But it seemed so worth it, the final product was amazing. 

My favorite work that they presented was 'sleep with me' an andy warhol film that they played in a gallery, with beds set up for viewers to lay down in and watch the film and eventually fall asleep. They did this a few times in different places. It was also shown in Tokyo in a museum and they talked about how it was interesting to see it open during normal business hours as opposed to the sleep over that they had inside a museum somewhere in Europe. The piece became a central spot in the museum exhibits since people kept walking around and going back to it, to sleep, to sit and chat and watch the film. 

This got me thinking about the comfort of a place or object somewhere that is set up to bring people to it. It reminded me of my old apartment on the corner of Haight and Fillmore in san francisco and someone had dumped an old couch on the corner. It was there for a couple of days and since I sat in my window to smoke and watch the street I was able to see all the different people that would come and sit on it, even though it was a really trashy neighborhood. Before it was taken away, I got locked outside by an angry exgirlfriend and I remember sitting on that couch for quite sometime. I was so glad it was there. A comfy couch in the middle of chaos. 

Anyways. Those are some of the things that appealed to me about the lecture!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bik Van Der Pol

( Inside Sunset Theater in Luxembourg)

Last night I went to the San Francisco Art Institute to see Liesbeth Bik and Jos van der Pol who have collaborated as Bik Van Der Pol since 1995. The focus of their artwork has widely focused on public space and its function, cinema, and architecture. They began by showing images from their Book Shop Project, from 1995-96 which is one of my favorites. They said they were inspired by the process of stumbling upon a great or important book. I love the process of walking into a book store without any idea of what you want and walking out with something you didn't know you needed. Liesbeth apparently had walked into a fantastically small bookstore that was filled with books on social theory, gay theory, art history, and philosophy to name a few. She decided that they would recreate this book store inside a Rotterdam Museum. They hand selected all the books that they felt were important to stumble upon and actually made them available to buy and take home. Another project they discussed was Sleep with Me in 97 where they laid down rows of mattresses and pillows and invited people to come fall asleep to Andy Warhol's movie, Sleep. They recreated the piece for multiple museums in different forms and settings including a gallery in Tokyo. Another one of my favorites, which they concluded with, was Sunset Cinema. This was a work for a public space in which they created a movie theater which consisted of box of stairs, the size of the projected image, which was directly facing the side of a house which served as the screen. I was overall very impressed with their thoughtful insight on their past projects, however long, they were incredibly informative and interesting.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Josephine Taylor

I absolutely love this artist. She does these large scale ink drawings on paper and helioprints that are visually stunning, delicate, stark and luminescent all at the same time. I had seen her speak at SFAI and was waiting for this show, Bomb Landscapes, to open at Catherine Clark Gallery.
This body of work shows a lot of animals that look like wolves or deranged cats that are intertwined with female bodies. They're either devouring or suckling her, or she's devouring them or wearing them as a hat. The starkness of what she does choose to show illustrates the themes behind her portraits. She highlights the figures' eyes, nipples, genitalia and hair. You can feel the struggle within each piece, how each is riddled with symbolism and pain.
Her website: