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The Year We Made Contact
May 10 - Jun 21, 2008
LA><ART is pleased to present The Year We Made Contact, an ongoing series of sculptures by Michelle Lopez that engage interests in popular culture, material decay, and formal interrogation. An elegant amalgam of synthetic processes and organic growth, the works reflect the cross-evolution of natural and fictitious worlds. For The Year We Made Contact, Lopez undertakes a number of sculptural strategies that examine the constructed phenomenon of the Star Wars legacy. Lopez’s larger practice deconstructs the boundaries between the grandiose and the pathetic, allowing each to collapse and devolve into haunting anthropomorphic abstractions.
Press Release | download PDF
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT MELISSA GOLDBERG, FYAWORLD
2640 SOUTH LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD
LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA 90034
LA><ART PRESENTS A NEW SERIES OF SCULPTURES BY MICHELLE LOPEZ AND A NEWLY COMMISSIONED VIDEO INSTALLATION BY LOS ANGELES-BASED ARTIST VISHAL JUGDEO
Michelle Lopez, Death Star (detail), 2005-8, resin, vacuum-formed polyurethane, stainless steel, wood, prosthetic foam, dimensions variable; and C3PO, 2008, bronze, 20 x 12 x 2.5 inches, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART,
May 10 through June 21, 2008
LA><ART is pleased to present The Year We Made Contact, an ongoing series of sculptures by Michelle Lopez that engage interests in popular culture, material decay, and formal interrogation. An elegant amalgam of synthetic processes and organic growth, the works reflect the cross-evolution of natural and fictitious worlds. The installation occupies a space of temporal ambiguity, drawing from the vernacular of science fiction, wherein the projected future is the present and the present functions as a hollowed ruin. Through this deployment of the sci-fi narrative, the objects comprising Lopez’s exhibition stand as empty relics suspended in a pop-cultural memory, renegotiating notions of iconicity while collapsing onto a history of natural wonder.
For The Year We Made Contact, Lopez undertakes a number of sculptural strategies that examine the constructed phenomenon of the Star Wars legacy. The Death Star, serving as the ultimate weapon within this epic saga, here reveals its abject interiority and functions as a deconstructed metaphor, its structural fragments evoking the temporal contingency of cultural invention against the incomprehensible scope of natural forces. Alongside this, an additional work interweaves tree branches, prosthetic limbs, and studio production equipment to suggest the aftermath of disaster, providing no indication of human presence as a totalized entity and emptying a space for the projection of fantasy. Lopez’s larger practice deconstructs the boundaries between the grandiose and the pathetic, allowing each to collapse and devolve into haunting anthropomorphic abstractions. In her sculpture entitled Crux, for example, a tree metamorphoses into unstable, lifeless dead weight held by metal supports, situating itself in an ambiguous space that is neither organic nor machine-like, growing nor decaying, human nor inhuman.
Michelle Lopez currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1994, and a BA from Columbia University in 1992. Solo exhibitions include Wenk Row at Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco (2005), Adventures in the Skin Trade at Deitch Projects in New York (2001), and The Untitled Thumb and Drape Project at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in Los Angeles (1999). Her work has been included in such notable group exhibitions as Nina in Position, Artists Space, New York, (2008), Bay Area Now 4, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2005), and the 2004 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Laguna Beach. Later this year, Lopez will mount a solo exhibition at Simon Preston Gallery in New York.
Special thanks to Hanger Corporation (Westbury, New York) for their assistance with the
House of Campari presents LA><ART Project Space
Vishal Jugdeo: Surplus Room
Curated by Aram Moshayedi
Vishal Jugdeo, Surplus Room (video stills), 2008, sculptural installation with high definition video projection and 3-channel audio, TRT: 8:00, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist and LA><ART, Los Angeles
LA><ART is pleased to present a newly commissioned sculptural installation and video by Los Angeles-based artist Vishal Jugdeo. Drawing upon interests in theatricality, object-relations, and an interrogation of image production, this project presents the artist’s solo Los Angeles debut. Jugdeo’s practice to date has relied on an excavation of the fluidity of perception and meaning, and utilizes video and sculpture in conflated terms to further articulate these tensions. Employing a loose aesthetic language and a coded visual style that borders both on casual and formalist logics, Jugdeo’s installations are colorful, complex articulations of domesticity, workshop production, and the processes of artistic labor.
For a new installation entitled Surplus Room, Jugdeo transforms LA><ART’s Project Space into a constructed scene that evokes both a carpeted living room and garage-like workshop. Mirrored in a three-channel audio and video work, the sculptural tableaux link a distinct set of narratives and scenarios performed by two characters. Drawing upon the affect of the physical environment, this doubling heightens the spatial relationships and disjunctions between performer and audience, as well as sound and moving image. Jugdeo’s explorations of time-based media and objecthood mark an attempt to inhabit technical and aesthetic conventions from popular entertainment, while making reference to such avant-garde histories as structuralist film and absurdist theater. By utilizing a visual vocabulary that is both raw and overly composed, Surplus Room takes its cues from lineages of B-grade film and television to interrogate the mechanisms fundamental to moving images. Through this examination, Jugdeo isolates the formal elements embedded within narrative cinema and television—tropes of editing, framing, acting as well as set and sound design—to both empty out and explode the potential for delivering meaning.
Vishal Jugdeo currently lives and works in Los Angeles and Vancouver. He received his BFA from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC in 2003, and MFA in new genres in 2007 from the University of California, Los Angeles; in 2005 he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Solo exhibitions include An Arrangement of Things at the Xeno Gallery in Vancouver and Video About Sculpture at the Western Front Artist Run Centre in Vancouver. Recent group exhibitions include New Sight at Art Chicago and Bring the War Home at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York and Q.E.D. in Los Angeles.
LA><ART Public Program: Exhibition walk-through with Vishal Jugdeo and Aram Moshayedi
May 10, 6pm Artist Vishal Jugdeo and LA><ART curator Aram Moshayedi lead an exhibition walk-through of
Surplus Room, followed by an opening reception for Jugdeo and Michelle Lopez.
Responding to Los Angeles’ 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.
LA><ART’s programs are made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Peter Norton Family Foundation, Danielson Foundation, Campari, Eileen Harris Norton, Ruth and Jacob Bloom, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, ForYourArt, Uber.com, Matthews Studio Equipment, The Standard Downtown LA, and the LA><ART Board of Directors, Producers Council, Curators Council, founding members, and patrons.
Upcoming: July 19 – August 30, 2008, Kori Newkirk: PVP and Miguel Angel Rios: Crudo
LA><ART is located at 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 T.310.559.0166 F.310.559.0167 firstname.lastname@example.org www.laxart.org
LA><ART is open Tuesday through Saturday 11am – 6pm.
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