Thursday, June 28, 2012

Venice Beach Biennial

The Venice Beach Biennial (VBB)


The Venice Beach Biennial (VBB), a weekend event that makes tongue-in-cheek reference to the “real” Venice Biennale in Italy, will treat the famed Venice Beach boardwalk, Ocean Front Walk, as an outdoor exhibition venue. Over the course of the weekend over 50 fine artists will set up vending stands alongside veteran boardwalk artists, exhibiting new bodies of work, collaborating with the veterans on new projects, displaying site-specific sculptures or installations, and presenting live performances. Directed by Hammer curator Ali Subotnick.
The famed Ocean Front Walk is a promenade along Venice Beach with a rich history and undeniably funky atmosphere—and it’s also an ideal, if unconventional, location for a large-scale interdisciplinary outdoor exhibition. The boardwalk is officially recognized as a “Free Speech and Expression Zone” and there is a regulated system, which aims to allow performers, entertainers, and free expressionists to exhibit and sell their own original and constitutionally protected merchandise, in over 200 spaces marked along the beach side of the boardwalk. A recent city ordinance has fine-tuned the definition of “art” and nominal works that are permitted in the vending spaces, which has brought back many artists that had previously been driven out by commercial vendors.
VBB takes artists accustomed to showing in galleries and museums out of their comfort zone, and encourages them to consider their work in a new context. The veteran boardwalk artists will play an active role in this weekend event, and all artists will be working under the same conditions and regulations. Artists may also collaborate with shop owners and restaurateurs to present site-specific projects, interventions, murals, and wall projects. This exhibition will instigate new connections and dialogue between disparate artistic communities and audiences that could potentially sustain itself and deepen over time. Projects will be presented on the boardwalk proper as well as in the Recreation and Parks area near Windward Plaza (adjacent to Muscle Beach and the Graffiti Wall).
Projects in formation include:
• Ceramicist 
Matthias Merkel Hess will show handmade ceramic versions of items often sold on the boardwalk and everyday objects, such as sunglasses, towels and six-pack rings.
Evan Holloway with Julian Valdivieso will present a performance collaboration with the bodybuilders at famed Muscle Beach.
Barbara Kruger poses existential questions in the form of stickers adhered to the ground.
Cara Earl will sell miniature sculptures inspired by popular Mexican saint figurines, which she has created in the guise of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
Nick Herman turns to the tradition of scouring the sand with metal detectors and plans to display his treasures in a vending space.
Jason Meadows is constructing a two-headed bicycle, a bit like a push-me pull-you, two bikes sharing one front wheel.
Carter Mull will set up a photo booth on the boardwalk in which visitors may have their photo taken in the manner of obituary photographs.
Drew Heitzler and Sam Sharit will debut a new video animation in an Ocean Front Walk tattoo parlor.
Jennifer Rochlin will present ceramic tiles inserted into recesses on the facade of the public restrooms.
Veteran boardwalk artists include:
Arthure Moore’s best-selling painting, Funky Pussy, features a cat giving “the finger,” and is the main identity for VBB. Moore also makes “funky” paintings of iconic figures such as the Mona Lisa and Muhhamed.
Albert Culbertson and Indira Burgos make paintings and boxes with imagery burned into wood using a magnifying glass and sunlight.
RA Superstar shows vibrant paintings mixing abstract expressionism and Pop Art.
Giles Williams creates inventive sculptures using palm fronds.
Flewnt makes mixed media assemblages using found metal, wood and other everyday material.
Vlada Stanisavlevic a.k.a. Danny Z produces lifelike portraits in airbrush as well as surreal landscapes populated by imaginary creatures.
Mr. TV presents a vaudevillian, satirical performance viewed through an open-air TV set.
Winston the Portraitist draws exquisite charcoal portraits in under ten minutes.
* = Boardwalk artists
**= Artists that are also in Made in L.A. 2012
Lisa Anne Auerbach
Robby Herbst
Loretta Ayeroff
Chelsea Beck
& Kurt Mueller
Larry Bell
Edgar Bryan
Jed Caesar
Timothy Caldwell*
Matt Chambers
Claude Collins-Stracensky
Liz Craft
Rip Cronk*
Albert Culbertson
& Indira Burgos*
Nathan Danilowicz
Dave Deany
Cara Earl
Marc Fichou
Finishing School
with Devon Tsuno
Eve Fowler
Abel Galindo*
Scott Grieger
Katie Grinnan
Mark Grotjahn
Mark Hagen
& Scott Benzel**
Drew Heitzler & Sam Sharit
Nick Herman
Roger Herman
Matthias Merkel Hess
Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle*
Evan Holloway with
Julian Valdivieso
Charles Irvin
Alex Israel
Albert Culbertson & Indira Burgos*
Louis Jean-Paul*
Matt Johnson
Barbara Kruger
Joel Kyack
& Michael Decker
Nery Gabriel Lemus*
Chris Lipomi
Burton Machen
Lauren Marsolier
Anna Mayer
Jason Meadows
Jean Joseph Monfort*
Pentti Monkkonen
Arthure Moore*
Mr. TV*
Carter Mull
Renée Petropoulos
RA Superstar*
Jennifer Rochlin
Ry Rocklen*
Alexis Smith
Gary Soszynski*
SKY (Stacey Kai Young)*
Vlada Stanisavlevic
a.k.a. Danny Z*
Monique Van Genderen
Venice Beach Pothead*
Erika Vogt*
Giles Williams*
Winston the Portraitist*
Brenna Youngblood*
& Eamon Ore-Giron
Ocean Front Walk
The Venice Beach Biennial is made possible by the Teiger Foundation.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 54 Tattoo

We have been selling and inscribing tattoos with Tim Shelton as auction donations all over town and recently started a print series documenting the completed tattoos. So far we have two of the three tattoos in this series done. The image on the far right was the Artist Proof. It was tattooed on Brian while filming  54 at OCMA during the 2010 California Biennial. Brian was the tattoo-double for James. In the narrative of 54, James's character receives the tattoo as a sign of affiliation and allegiance to the film's controlling antagonist group, referred to as The Council. Justin Gilanyi's (left) tattoo was purchased at LACE  and Carl Smith's (center) was purchased at MOCA

54: Ritual of the Mark, Production Stills #1-5,  2012

The symbol in the tattoo is based on tesseract or more commonly referred to as a hypercube, a representation of the four-dimensional space.  "A tesseract is in principle obtained by combining two cubes. The scheme is similar to the construction of a cube from two squares: juxtapose two copies of the lower dimensional cube and connect the corresponding vertices."  The idea of  multi-dimensions is intriguing to us for the film's narrative, the film's relationship to the viewers in the immersive installation, and the project as a whole. Time and space as it relates to the both temporality  and eternalism  are investigated. We want our characters to slip between this dimensions in the film and the viewers interacting with interface of the database which control the film's narrative to think of their relationship to the project as inter-dimsensional. Also, With the larger critique, we want to position the "biennial" as the eternal and each permutation or exhibition that is presented every 2 years is the temporal (i.e. 2012 Venice Biennale: Illuminations). Beyond the politics of dimensionalism, which we are first admit that we grossly lack exhaustive knowledge, we want our audience understanding they are inside one dimension but outside another. In the case of our symbol, we added several vertices to match the title of our film, 54. We also found some joy in the idea that this addition rendered the form mathematically impossible to express...a fair criticism for the project. Coaguala's Publisher, Mat Gleason referred to 54 in 2010 as "Absurdamente Complesso" or in english - "Absurdly Complex."  We are generally attracted to messy ideas.

The cubes  have also been a long-standing element in the 54 project. Their clean rectilinear lines, static presence, and absence of hue create an interesting juxtaposition to our living breathing moving protagonist.  The cubes are otherworldly (perhaps even a different dimension) and having an unknown or undefined purpose. They don't seem to be noticed in the ancient urban landscape of Venice, Italy. To date, we haven't divulged their specific meaning in the narrative. They are present in the film but never in the same shot as the protagonist. We like that there are formal and conceptual similarities between the protagonist and the cubes. The symbol demonstrates the link between these two physically/cinematically marginalized "characters" and their ability to be simultaneously expressed and related. 

54 Tattoo, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

54 Tattoo CertificateTim Shelton, Tattoo MasterLACE, 54 TattooLACE, 54 Tattoo_MG_3869_MG_3899
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54 Tattoo - MOCA Los Angeles

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54 Tattoo - MOCA Fresh