A group exhibition responding to the LAndscape. Featuring new work by:
It makes a perverted kind of sense that some of the world's greatest sunsets should occur over the heads of those most ready to ignore them, but such is the beauty of Los Angeles. A metropolitan population of more than 4 million experiences that daily miracle of sky mainly through car windshields during the long exodus-in-all-directions which comprises the evening commute. In too many literal and metaphoric ways to count, the rush hour experience most closely resembles that of sitting at the movies, perhaps viewing a filmed version of the very same sunset one might have seen in a rear view mirror on the way to the theatre. This correlation between real movement, (albeit increasingly slow and congested), through the city, and the imaginary movement experienced between film frames, provides a sense of the complicated relationship Angelenos have to the land they inhabit. A relationship which has historically been determined as much by the physical properties of the place as by the images we have created of it, and the ways in which those images both refute and reinforce the reality of the city.
To produce an exhibition concerning the landscape of Los Angeles at this moment is thus to reconsider these contradictions at a time when they seem to have lost much of their currency; a period of acute conceptual decay. The land itself, once so endless, seems suddenly to be used up along with the idea that it would always be affordable. The freeways which once facilitated growth and productivity are now a common burden, and an easy excuse for failing to get something done on time. What then to make of this place which no longer seems to fit within its own structure? How do we turn away the masses who keep coming here longing for somewhere which doesn’t exist, save for the fact that it is renewed by every mid-western expatriate who arrives and simply creates the life they saw on tv? When did all of Los Angeles become a reality show that just isn’t being filmed?
In their own ways the artists in this exhibition are answering these questions with the kind of non-answers so characteristic of the California attitude. Individual experience of the city is here portrayed as a simple struggle against skewed expectations, and a constant attempt not to get dragged under the crashing waves of other people’s intentions. To live and work as an artist in Los Angeles is to daily travel with too much awareness through a land filled everywhere with images of ghosts and ghosts of images. It is to confront head on the problem of never knowing exactly what is real about the city you call home, and to find some truth in that. In a place like this, to state the obvious is thus to state quite a bit. This is a show of artists who live and work in Los Angeles.
Curated by Andrew Cameron, William Kaminski, Lisa Madonna, and Evelena Ruether.