Sunday, April 18, 2010

Standard Oblivion

I love living in oblivion. I never quite know what the hell is going on. It can give you the opportunity to see things in a different way. I also love it when I get the occasional call from Paige inviting me to an art related event. This time it was an invitation to view some video art at the Standard. Why? I don't know. I figured maybe I'll find out why eventually, maybe not. It's all good in the Land of Oblivion.

I show up on time as most midwesterners will to a hotel room on the 7th floor. I should've left details to my whereabouts with some friends. What if I were to get jumped and robbed or abducted into a cult? Well, I decide I'm still pretty spry for 42, so I took the chance and walked in. I meet some pretty ladies including the Art Director for the Standard and notice a gigantic black foot in the huge bathroom.

Eventually people start to filter in. We start to taste the strange h'orderves inspired by the videos we were to watch. Macaroni & Cheese Balls a la Marinara my favorite. David Stone starts handing out the Champagne and is heard regaling the young ladies in the room with his tales of meeting Warhol. It's a party! We sit down in front of a TV and start watching. I'm waiting for the pitch to buy the Timeshare but it never comes. No Amway products either. What we did see were some interesting video art pieces chosen to play at the Standard on their StandART channel. Ok, now I get it. Apparently some of this stuff is being projected somewhere in the building as well as through the room televisions. Pretty cool idea.

My favorite was Mika Rottenberg's Time + a Half, which deals with women making worthless consumer items in a sweat shop setting. Other notables were Martha Colburn's Triumph of the Wild, a fantastic stop motion animated opus of violence and weirdness. Also, Neistat Brothers' Yogurt VS.Gasoline, was a humorous documentary about a race in NYC in which a yogurt powered man is set against a motorcycle. Also also, Gonzalo LeBrija Asterion, features a businessman with briefcase riding a bucking bronco.

Well, unfortunately the mystery was solved but I did get a few free beers out of it. Next up, who will win the art debates? Porn? Yep, porn wins. Might be best to hold my tongue this time around.

StandART Video Series

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Permission to Fail in Chinatown

Hey, I saw a good sculpture show at Sam Lee Gallery on Hill street last Saturday. It was the opening of Macha Suzuki's Permission to Fail. I've known about Macha's work for awhile now as he was renting a work space in the same building I still rent in downtown. I love his work, it's easy on the eyes.

This new show is similar in style to the pieces I had seen previously. Macha continues with the use of the figure, an almost digital use of materials, clean and precise execution and a mostly inner narrative conceptual approach. Hey, I'm being to sound like I know what I'm talking about!

One of his works explores the idea of what if god designed life the same way people design consumer items. There's always a series of simple failed prototypes that don't quite make the mark and get thrown away. So, Macha's prototype for a sheep features an extruded octagon with cottonball fur and no head, an early iteration to be sure. On top of the sheep is a figure adapted from a childhood memory of himself and his friends incompetently trying to imitate cartoon characters . Hope I got that right.

Another large standing piece explores the idea of the birth of generosity. The intent is present but the actual form of the giving is undefined represented by a wireframe polygon waiting to be skinned with the gift once it is realized. Anyway, this is good stuff. I hope you catch the show down at Sam Lee before May 15th when the show closes.

Sam Lee Gallery
990 N. Hill Street #190
Los Angeles, CA 90012