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John Divola
The Green of this Notebook
Jul 17 - Aug 21, 2010

John Divolaʼs The Green of this Notebook is a group of photographic based works that takes Jean Paul Sartre's seminal text from 1943 Being and Nothingness as its point of departure. For this series, Divola has extracted the references in Sartreʼs writing that use visual metaphors to investigate the essential character of existence, re- photographing pages from Being and Nothingness with these passages highlighted.

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FOR IMMEDIATE

RELEASE CONTACT ELIZABETH REINA OR DEIRDRE MAHER BLUE MEDIUM

ELIZABETH@BLUEMDIUM.COM / DEIRDRE@BLUMEDIUM.COM

TEL: +1 (212) 675.1800

 

2640 SOUTH LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD

LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90034

WWW.LAXART.ORG

 

LA><ART PRESENTS TWO NEW SOLO EXHIBITIONS BY LOS ANGELES-BASED PHOTOGRAPHERS JOHN DIVOLA AND AMIR ZAKI

 

Amir Zaki, 11-1 (study), 2010, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles; John Divola, The Green of this Notebook, 2000, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles.

 

John Divola: The Green of this Notebook

 

July 17-August 21, 2010 Opening reception: July 17, 6-9pm

 

John Divolaʼs The Green of this Notebook is a group of photographic based works that takes Jean Paul Sartre's seminal text from 1943 Being and Nothingness as its point of departure. For this series, Divola has extracted the references in Sartreʼs writing that use visual metaphors to investigate the essential character of existence, re- photographing pages from Being and Nothingness with these passages highlighted. Divola has then attempted to create the visual equivalent by photographing a scene, landscape, or event that aids as a supplement to the text. This pairing of specific and abstract modes of representation anchors the series of photographs in an attempt to develop a third space of meaning, situated between the image and the word, object and subject. Divolaʼs approach relies on the translation of written language back into experiential phenomena, in so far as both are capable of being rendered photographically.

 

John Divola (b. 1949, Los Angeles) BA, 1971 California State University, Northridge; MA 1973: MFA 1974, University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1975 he has taught photography and art at numerous institutions including California Institute of the Arts (1978-1988), and since 1988 he has been a Professor of Art at the University of California, Riverside.

 

Since 1975, Divola's work has been featured in more than sixty solo exhibitions in the United States, Japan, Europe, Mexico, and Australia, including Galerie Marquardt, Paris, 1990; Seibu Gallery, Tokyo, 1987; the University of New Mexico Art Museum, 1982; The Patricia Faure Gallery, Los Angeles, 2000; and Janet Borden Gallery, New York, 2001. Since 1973 his work has been included in more than two hundred group exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Japan, including: "Mirrors and Windows," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 1978; "1981 Biennial Exhibition," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York. 1981; "California Photography: Remaking Make-Believe," Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York. 1989. "The Photographic Condition," The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California. 1995; "Photo Binennale, Enschede (Obsessions. From Wunderkammer to Cyberspace)," Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enchede, Netherlands. 1995 "Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity 1900-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2000; "Architecture Hot and Cold," The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2000, and "Los Angeles 1955-85," Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2006.

 

LA><ART PROJECT SPACE

 

Amir Zaki: Eleven Minus One

 

LA><ART is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Los-Angeles based artist Amir Zaki. Zakiʼs project meticulously recreates, in virtual 3D space, a group of photographs made in the mid-1980ʼs by internationally renowned Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Fischli and Weissʼ photographs depict temporary sculptures, precariously balancing, that they intentionally constructed in a slap-dash manner. Through their depiction of these temporary objects made out of household detritus, Fischli and Weiss were able to interrogate sculptural traditions framed by concerns of heroic representation and masterful techniques.

 

Fischli and Weissʼ work privileged the document over the sculpture, which Zaki interprets as an ironic inverse of the ubiquitous professional photographic documentation. In the case of the latter, the photograph is simply seen as a necessary medium to disseminate the ʻbestʼ view of the sculpture to viewers who could not see the sculptures in person. The photographerʼs job is usually to glorify the sculpture and render his/her point of view invisible and/or objective. The Fischli and Weiss photographs are intentionally somewhat crass and pathetic, anything but objective or exalted. Oddly enough, this ʻbadʼ quality is precisely what makes one notice the photographs in their own right.

 

In Zaki's adaptation of their work in the context of this exhibition, there is a re-inversion at play, privileging the sculpture, but as a 3D virtual non-object. Zaki will create a series of short photorealistic animation loops, a body of photographic prints depicting orthographic views of the 3D models, and a foldout book that is based on the eleven different ways that a cube can be unfolded. Working with this methodology allows Zaki to question the conventions and limitations of photography by exploring depictions of ʻrealʼ space, but without the restraints of actual physics or forces such as gravity. He is interested in the perversion of using the Fischli and Weiss photographs of quickly made, throw-away sculptures as a source to create an incredibly laborious photorealistic virtual 3D scene that can be explored from all angles, both through photographic and orthographic projections. Zaki will also fetishize the sculptures by making them virtual, stylized and idealized. In the animations the sculptures will simply spin, teeter or gyrate indefinitely. In the photographs, they will hover in a perfect orthographic projection space, surrounded by a black void.

 

Amir Zaki was born in Beaumont California in 1974. He received his BA from the University of California, Riverside, in 1996 and his MFA from UCLA in 1999. Zakiʼs practice investigates urban conditions through photography. Engaging both public and private spaces as objects, Zakiʼs work explores the physical realities and ambiguities of perception, paying significant attention to the complex mechanics of representation. Zakiʼs work has been exhibited widely at various institutions. His solo shows include Spring through Winter, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles, CA (2005); Amir Zaki: Front and Center, Sweeney Art Gallery, UC Riverside, Riverside, CA (2004); and VLHV, James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA (2003) amongst others. He has also been included in various group shows including A Decade of Collecting, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2003); Majestic Sprawl, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA (2002); and Anti-form, Center for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO (2002) amongst others. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

 

About LA><ART

 

Responding to Los Angelesʼ cultural climate, LA><ART questions given contexts for the exhibition of contemporary art, architecture and design. With a renewed vision for the potential of independent art spaces, LA><ART provides a center for interdisciplinary discussion and interaction and for the production and exhibition of new exploratory work. LA><ART offers a space for provocation, dialogue and confrontation by practices on the ground in LA and abroad. LA><ART is a hub for artists based on flexibility, transition, spontaneity and change. The space responds to an urgency and obligation to provide an accessible exhibition space for contemporary artists, architects and designers.

 

L.A.P.D. – LA Public Domain features artistic and curatorial collaborations and interventions in experimental contexts.

 

These exhibitions are made possible with major support from the James Irvine Foundation.

LA><ARTʼs programs are made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Danielson Foundation; the G.L. Waldorf Family Fund; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP.; Eve Steele and Peter Gelles; Jane Glassman; City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Pasadena Art Alliance; and the LA><ART Board of Directors, Producers Council, Curators Council, founding members, and patrons.

 

This exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

 

Upcoming: Glenn Kaino: Self/Vanish, September 18-October 23, 2010 (Galleries One and Two)

LA><ART is located at 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 T.310.559.0166 F.310.559.0167 www.laxart.org LA><ART is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 6pm.

Press Coverage | download all Press (.zip file)