November 19 – December 17, 2011 
Main Gallery
Curated by Steven Hull 
Including work by Steven Hull, Amy Thoner, Dewey Ambrosino, Tami Demaree, April Totten and Donnie Stroud 
Steven Hull, sketch for Sculpture Garden

For Las Cienegas Projects’ final month of exhibitions, we are very pleased to announce Sculpture Garden, a collaborative installation conceived of by Steven Hull and including work by Steven Hull, Amy Thoner, Dewey Ambrosino, Tami Demaree, April Totten, and Donnie Stroud.

The installation will turn the main gallery into a fictional landscape that will include a moving passenger train for 2, photographic “billboards”, topographical hillscapes, sculptural works, and other elements found in gardens, outdoor leisure spaces, and trainscapes.

Project Space
Sunset Drone
Kaz Oshiro, detail from Orange Speaker Cabinets and Gray Scale Boxes (18 parts)

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Sunset Drone, a solo exhibition by Kaz Oshiro. The exhibition includes Orange Speaker Cabinets and Gray Scale Boxes (18 parts), an installation comprised of twelve “Orange brand speaker cabinets” and six gray scale boxes, all made out of stretched canvas, acrylic paint and Bondo.

Kaz Oshiro’s trompe l’oeil style works 3-dimensionally depict American subcultural artifacts and familiar objects such as brightly colored Marshall amps, sticker-laden pickup truck tailgates, public garbage containers, and kitchen appliances. Done on box-shaped stretched canvases, the works often deal with the abstract qualities of surface and other issues of painting: scuff marks, scratches, dust, finger prints and gooey marks on specific surface finishes. Yet while Oshiro insists on the primary importance of painting in his practice, there is a simultaneity with sculpture that his works fully engage, along with a conscious interplay between realism and abstraction, pop and minimalism, content and façade.

Kaz Oshiro (b.1967) has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1986. He has held solo exhibitions at Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris; Galerie Emannuel Perrotin, Miami; Yvon Lambert, New York; and Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica. His work has also been exhibited at the Villa du Parc, Annemasse, France; the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; the Asia Society and Museum, New York; the Orange County Museum, Newport Beach; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He holds a BA and MFA from California State University, Los Angeles.

Back Room
LRTT (Lunar Reflection Transmission Technique)
left- Taro Shinoda’s telescopic video camera. Photo: Gulay Yigitcan; right- Taro Shinoda: Lunar Reflections (installation view, Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum), Taro Shinoda, 2009. Photo: Clements/Howcroft Photography.

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Taro Shinoda’s LRTT (Lunar Reflection Transmission Technique)LRTT is a continually developing, 90-minute telescopic video installation. Motivated by the desire to view and experience the moon as a mutually shared phenomenon, Shinoda crafted a rudimentary astronomical telescope out of scrap corrugated cardboard and connected it to a video camera, setting out from different parts of the world to videotape the moon’s passage across the telescope’s field of view, as well as images of each city he visited (including Tokyo, Istanbul, Limerick, and Boston). For the exhibition at Las Cienegas Projects, Shinoda will include cityscape and lunar footage shot in and from Los Angeles.

The project began during the artist’s month-long stay at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the spring of 2007, when Shinoda was inspired by the moonlight and the sense of calm found late at night in the museum courtyard. Yet its roots lie in his early childhood memories of trying to communicate with his mother over great distances, entrusting messages to the moon, which he hoped his mother would receive on the other side of the planet when the moon rose for her.

The art of Taro Shinoda engages themes of science, philosophy, and desire, and investigates both our place in the universe and within contemporary society. Shinoda was born in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan, where he continues to live and work. He has held solo exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; REDCAT, Los Angeles; GALLERY SIDE 2, Tokyo; and Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, among others, and has participated widely in group exhibitions including the 2011 Asian Art Biennale, Taichung; Transparency: Art for Energy, MACRO, Rome; He’e ualu, Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris; Sensing Nature, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the 10th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul; and Time After Time: Asia and our moment, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.


Have You Seen Me (Collaborative Project) / Shelli Tollman / Jennifer Sullivan

October 15 – November 12, 2011 
Opening Reception: Saturday October 15, 7-10 pm 

 Main Gallery 
A Collaborative Project by Tanya Haden and Anna Oxygen 
Featuring work by: 
Flora Golden 
Tanya Haden 
Johanna Jackson 
Caitlin Lainoff 
Anna Oxygen 
Tracey Polyflavor 
Alexandra Rushfield 
Allison Schulnik 
Katie Shook 
Marnie Weber 
Johanna Went 
Megan Whitmarsh 

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Have You Seen Me, a collaborative, installation-based project and group of performances conceived of by Tanya Haden and co-curated by Tanya Haden and Anna Oxygen.

Artists were asked to contribute work to be included within an illustrated 3-dimensional forest created by Haden and populated by mythical and familiar female storybook characters in various stages of disarray and displacement. The forest is interwoven with images and sculptural representations of domesticity. The show addresses the convergence of everyday, mundane domestic life with landscapes of fantasy, surrealism and notions of escapism, and poses questions around the meaning of being “lost”, the ways we experience being “seen”, and the stories we create to weave these sensations together.

The opening reception will include live puppet performances, music, and performance art exploring themes of the show. Contributing artists include Flora Golden, Tanya Haden, Johanna Jackson, Caitlin Lainoff, Anna Oxygen, Tracey Polyflavor, Alexandra Rushfield, Allison Schulnik, Katie Shook, Marnie Weber, Johanna Went, and Megan Whitmarsh. The performances will leave behind remnants that will become part of the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition.

Holly Myers, Art Review: ‘Have You Seen Me’ at Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles Times, November 3, 2011

 Project Space
Somewhere In This World 
Shelli Tollman, Somewhere In This World, 2011.
Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 in.

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Somewhere In This World, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Shelli Tollman. For this exhibition, Tollman will show 6 mixed media paintings on canvas from a body of work which addresses the complexities of diversity and both personal and political upheaval. Rooted in her upbringing during the apartheid era in South Africa, Tollman’s work is expressive of both wistfulness and despondency, hope and hopelessness. Tollman explores themes of oppression, cruelty and predatory behavior from a child-like perspective. Elements of the African and European folk tales of her childhood can be found in the delicate disorder of her paintings, in which evil gnome-like creatures (the Tockeloshes of Zulu mythology) and axe-wielding woodcutters wander through multi-woven narratives seeking victims, while animals consume each other and figures are torn in half or melt away into abstracted drips. The Disneyesque approach of these sinister fairytale-like works reflects Tollman’s experience as an immigrant artist confronted with American culture.

Shelli Tollman received her BFA from The Boston Museum School of Fine Arts in 2005. She also studied at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town and at WITS University in Johannesburg. Tollman has participated in numerous group shows in Los Angeles, including The Los Angeles Juried Exhibition 2010.

Back Room                                                                                                                                JENNIFER SULLIVAN
Adult Movie

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Adult Movie, a solo exhibition by Jennifer Sullivan. Loosely inspired by Les Blank’s documentary Burden of Dreams, which chronicles the myriad adversities faced during the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, Sullivan’s new video Adult Movie explores the internal conflicts and struggles of art making, money making and adulthood through a non-linear, diaristic narrative and a fragmented melodramatized movie-within-a-movie format, reflecting upon the artist’s own past work and the desire to move forward artistically, as well as a recent residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and a brief career as a dancer at a lesbian strip club.

In conjunction with this new video, Sullivan will present a series of digitally printed “movie posters”, created by scanning, enlarging and reprinting handmade collage works on paper. The collage poster prints act as poetic storyboards and montages, providing complements and alternate entry points to the narrative threads presented in Adult Movie. The exhibition will take the form of a minimal movie theater set, including a curtained off screening area, and movie posters installed outside the screening, as in the lobby of a cinema.

Jennifer Sullivan (b. Albany, NY 1978) is an interdisciplinary artist who works in performance, video, painting and installation. Her work has been exhibited widely, including solo exhibitions at Freight + Volume in NY and Raid Projects in Los Angeles, as well as group exhibitions and performances at MoMA PS1, Horton Gallery, The Kitchen, and Klaus von Nichtsaggend gallery. She has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Ox-Bow, Yaddo and Voom HD Lab, and her videos are included in the Geisel Library collection at the University of California in San Diego. Sullivan received an MFA from Parsons School of Design, New York
 and BFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. She currently lives and works in Ridgewood, NY.

Karina Nimmerfall / Benjamin Lord / Kara Tanaka

September 10 – October 8, 2011                                                                                     Opening Reception Saturday, September 10,  7-10 pm

Main Gallery                                                                                                                          KARINA NIMMERFALL                                                                                            Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel) 

Karina Nimmerfall, Video still from Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel), 2007–08. Three channel video installation (mixed media)


Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel), a sculptural, three-channel video installation by Berlin-based Austrian artist Karina Nimmerfall. The starting point of the project is the legendary Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, built in 1921 and pulled down in 2006. The hotel is not only linked to the history of Hollywood – where in the Roaring Twenties the bold and beautiful were bustling about and which during the 1930s hosted the Oscar Nights six times – but also received negative fame, as Robert Kennedy was assassinated in its kitchen 1968. After the hotel was shut down in 1989, it was exclusively used as a movie set for film & television productions and ranged among the most widely used sets in Los Angeles. Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel) uses this history in order to reconstruct the famous hotel lobby; the reconstruction is not, however, an objective architectural model based on documentary material, but instead a virtual space grounded in collective memories and medially transported descriptions of space. Generated from a variety of layers of media information and designed as an active physical and sculptural space, the installation evaluates one’s relation to mediated images and conventions. Playing with the phenomenon of a multiple film set and suggesting that “being on-site” implies moving through a series of image spaces, this three-dimensional enactment reacts upon the perception of the “real space” of the hotel, and thus on our own perceptions of reality.

Karina Nimmerfall is a visual artist based in Berlin, Germany. She studied Visual Arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany and Art History at the University of Vienna, Austria. Nimmerfall was Visiting Artist-in-Residence in the Graduate Studies Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (2010-2011). She was also awarded a fellowship at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris (2007) and the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles (2002), amongst others. Recent exhibitions include Kunstpalais Erlangen, Germany (2010); BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; Kasseler Kunstverein, Germany (2009); Göteborgs Konsthall, Sweden; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; Slought Foundation, Philadelphia; AR/GE Kunst Galleria Museo, Bolzano, Italy; Medienturm Graz, Austria (2008); Landesgalerie Linz, Austria and Camera Austria, Kunsthaus Graz (2007). Her work was also included in the Bucharest Biennale 3 in 2008 and the 8th Havana Bienale in 2003. Upcoming presentations include a solo exhibition this fall at Galerie Grita Insam, Vienna, as well as a group exhibition at the Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany.

Jan Tumlir, Karina Nimmerfall, Las Cienegas Projects, Artforum International, December 2011
Karina Nimmerfall,  Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel), installation view
Project Space
False Positives

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present False Positives, a solo exhibition by Benjamin Lord. The exhibition consists of three interrelated groups of works that together explore the poetics of time, material, presence and perception. Within the gallery, three distinct but overlapping zones are defined. In the first zone, large color prints depict phosphenes, appearances of light caused by something other than light, a phenomenon well known since antiquity. These images build on a formal vocabulary initiated by Eaton Canyon Phosphenalia, a portfolio of color prints Lord created in 2006. The prints were created partly through the use of a computer, in order to “photograph” a hallucinatory phenomenon that is essentially unphotographable. In the second zone, a group of sculptures are displayed on a table. Set in gray wooden trays that evoke racks for oversized movable type, the objects narrate a fractured history of a fictional 19th century explorer. A text written by the artist in the voice of the explorer is sliced into four sections. In the third zone, transparent forms are displayed in front of the gallery windows. Sculpted in relief, the framed shapes evoke slabs of an abstract terrain described in meticulous, almost photographic detail, but whose original model is conspicuously absent. The difference between “looking at” and “looking through” becomes the basis of a poetic turn towards perception itself. Together, these three zones are installed in the manner of a tone poem, in which the various elements engage the space of the gallery without being specific to it. Discrepant forms and histories both real and fictional are allowed to resonate, creating a new image of the present.

Spanning the techniques of photography, video, drawing, sculpture, and bookmaking, Benjamin Lord’s work often takes the form of a collection or sequence of images, objects and texts. Most recently, in 2010, Humaliwo Chambers, a set of twenty five color photographs in three portfolios, was published in a large edition as the Norton Christmas Project. Lord received his MFA from UCLA in 2002. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Benjamin Lord, False Positives, installation view
Diary of an Explorer (detail), 2011 .  Mirrors, fingerprints, fragment of a net, cotton board with acrylic paint, hobo’s monocle on painted wooden trays, set on artist’s table

 Phosphenalia VII, 2009.  Archival pigment inkjet print, 43.5 x 54 inches

Diary of an Explorer (detail), 2011 .  Mirrors, fingerprints, fragment of a net, cotton board with acrylic paint, hobo’s monocle on painted wooden trays, set on artist’s table
False Positives I, 2011 .  Clear plastic, wooden artist’s frame,  27 x 43.5 inches (ed. of 3)

False Positives I (detail)

Back Room
Bent-Light Night

Kara Tanaka, Bent-Light Night, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Simon Preston Gallery, New York


Until the advent of flight, the mountain summit was the closest humans could get to the heavens, the home of their gods or their notion of the beyond. The search for Mount Analogue, a mythical destination that first appeared in René Daumal’s surrealist novel Mount Analogue: A Tale of Non-Euclidean and Symbolically Authentic Mountaineering Adventures, began with two simple principles: first, that there exists a mountain where humans can connect with the divine, and second, that the base of that mountain must be accessible to humans by the means inherent to their nature.

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Bent-Light Night, a new sculptural installation by Kara Tanaka. Influenced by the historical search for secret locations and spiritual lands, both fictional and real, Tanaka was first drawn to the symbol of the mountain through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s cult classic film, The Holy Mountain, and through Daumal’s novel. Both narratives feature a team of adventurers who set out to find a mythical mountain and draw heavily on traditions of mysticism, polytheistic religions, Vedic traditions and early mythologies. In these stories – and countless others – the mountain is used as a symbol to propel humans beyond their limits physically, philosophically, experientially and intellectually.

Taking as truth the belief in the material reality of the mythical Mount Analogue, Tanaka uses unconventional methods for “determining” its physical location. A triptych of circular island “maps” carved into cowhides hang on the walls, accompanied by a central trio of altered European alphorns, each with their bells directed at the maps as though coaxing Mount Analogue to the surface of the image. The archipelago maps are formed by the natural patterning of the animal hides and further enhanced through Tanaka’s shaving and carving of the skins. Her use of animal hides draws a parallel to the Tibetan iconographic image of flayed skin as a symbol for the destruction of the ego – as avid hunters of mythical mountains themselves, Tibetans often refer to a cycle of self-destruction and self-realization as an integral component to ascending a sacred mountain.

“Esoteric knowledge is not truly hidden but simply imperceptible to those who are not seeking it.”
–Kathleen Ferrick Rosenblatt (on René Daumal)

Kara Tanaka received her MFA from CalArts in 2008, Postgraduate Diploma from Goldsmiths College, University of London in 2006 and BA from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include Hungry Human (Mountain Hunter), Simon Preston Gallery, NY (2011); A Sad Bit of Fruit, Pickled in the Vinegar of Grief, Collezione Maramotti, Italy (2010); and Dissolver, LAXART, Los Angeles (2008). Other recent selected exhibitions include Death’s Boutique, a two-person show with Marco Rios at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010); The distance between 2 points is often intolerable, Brand New Gallery, Milan (2010); and the 2008 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art.



July 23 – August 20, 2011 
Opening Reception: Saturday July 23, 6-9 pm 

Main Gallery and Project Space

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Nothing Comes From Nothing, a group exhibition featuring UC Irvine’s 2011 MFA graduates:

Maura Brewer 
Josh Cho 
Adrian de la Peña 
Alexis Disselkoen 
Sophie Lee 
Noritaka Minami 
Amir Nikravan 
Marcus Perez 
C. Ree 
Samira Yamin

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog including an essay,
“What Remains,” by Juli Carson.
(Click here to view catalog)

Back Room
Group Exhibition 

Art Workshop Collaborative (AWC) and Las Cienegas Projects are pleased to present the first exhibition of collaborative works by AWC students.

AWC is a joint venture between California Institute of the Arts and California African American Museum, and offers students from across Los Angeles-area high schools the opportunity to engage with established artists. The collaborative promotes an understanding of the conceptual art process and the major role art can play in students’ own lives and communities. Artist and educator Charles Gaines, who conceptualized the project program, was eager to create a curriculum offering younger art students both the opportunity to learn something beyond technical art skills and the chance to work with established artists – a valuable opportunity he was also given as a teenager.

The students were given the opportunity to work in either one of two classes: The Visual Arts Course or the Video and Photography Course. Initially students met with Los Angeles-based artists Rodney McMillian and Ruben Ochoa to receive a set of rules and project framework to guide their efforts. In each of their respective classes, students were then challenged to conceptualize and collaboratively produce a work within this framework.

Artists Nikki Pressley and Kenyatta Hinkle instructed the Visual Arts Course, working with students Luis Ayuso, James King, Gary Lim, Avery Ingram, Barbara Hernandez, Elmast Kozloyan, Danny Sanchez and Jesus Santacruzto produce a series of works engaging notions of identity and voice. The series consists of 20 painted panels, a lightbox and performative element.

Artist and Director of the AWC, Yanira Cartagena, instructed the Video and Photography Course, working with students Andrea Alcaraz, Victor Gutierrez, Bryan Lo, Andrew Martinez, Marcus Owens, Nancy Quintanilla, Ashley Ann Underwood, Janelly Velasquez, and Taylor Young to produce a series of photographs, a maquette and a billboard that would erase one of L.A.’s oldest monuments, the Los Angeles River, thereby calling attention to the potential erasure of this city’s history, life source, and physical connections. The billboard was recently installed at Figueroa and 39th Street. Its documentation is included in the exhibition.

Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III / Zoe Crosher

June 18 – July 16, 2011

Project Space
Zoe Crosher
LA-LIKE: Transgressing the Pacific
left- Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Captain Bob Hyde Disappeared at Manhattan Beach, from the series LA-LIKE, 2008. Fujiflex archive print, 40 x 40 in.;                              right- Zoe Crosher, Transgressing the Pacific: Where Natalie Wood Disappeared off Catalina Island, from the series LA-LIKE, 2008. Fujiflex archive print, 40 x 40 in.
“The future always looks good in the golden land, because no one remembers the past   [. . .] Here is the last stop for all those who come from somewhere else, for all those who drifted away from the cold and the past and the old ways. Here is where they are trying to find a new life style, trying to find it in the only places they know to look: the movies and the newspapers.”–Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem

What does one do when one cannot go farther west? 
When one reaches the limits of Manifest Destiny–– 
where is one supposed to go after that? The endless 
promise for once you reach that unreachable place, 
and then you have arrived, but there is no where to 
go anymore. Suddenly stopped by a line, a border–– 
a picturesque and endless border. 
–Zoe Crosher 

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Transgressing the Pacific––LA-LIKE: a solo exhibition featuring photographic and project-based works by Zoe Crosher. Part of Crosher’s larger project, LA-LIKETransgressing the Pacific revolves around myth, legend, and the cultural imaginary of Manifest Destiny and the American West. Concerned with questions of what to do when one can no longer go farther west after reaching these limits, both geographically and conceptually, the work resultingly touches upon those who have elusively gone beyond them.

In these large-scale photographic works, Crosher explores and photographs sites of disappearance, in “real” spaces where “actual” (and some fictional) people––Hollywood legend Natalie Wood, evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, a character from Raymond Chandler’s noir classic The Long Goodbye––have disappeared, swept away in the Pacific Ocean. Researched, mapped, scouted and shot by Crosher along the Southern California coastline, each at the approximate time of its subject’s vanishing, the locations are sites forever-embedded in collective cultural memory through literature, Hollywood films, and dissemination by the press.

Crosher will  concurrently initiate a call for entries to launch her upcoming Manifest Destiny Billboard Project initiative, a series of artist-produced billboards (including some of her own) unfolding along the I-10 freeway and playing out over time, moving westward from the Arizona border to the California coast. Examining current and historical notions of “Heading West”––as well as how to map a place while going 80mph––the expansively scaled project seeks to explore and reveal over time and landscape the conceptual and particularly American fantasy-narratives of Manifest Destiny while reinvigorating the potential iconic power of both the photographic image and the billboard as medium. Crosher will be collecting billboard proposals–– exclusively at Las Cienegas Projects––and will choose 1 for  inclusion in the project (click for more information).

Zoe Crosher is an artist living in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in Vancouver, Rotterdam, Los Angeles, and New York City, including a billboard project with LAXART (2010) and inclusion in the 2010 California Biennial. She has been working on Los Angeles-inspired, site-specific photographic projects since 2001. Her monograph Out the Window (LAX) examines space and transience around the Los Angeles airport, and a series of four monographs on her newest project, The Reconsidered Archive of Michelle duBois, are forthcoming from Aperture Ideas. Crosher has just been announced as a 2011 recipient of LACMA’s prestigious Art Here and Now: Studio Forum (AHAN) program to support acquisitions by emerging Los Angeles-area artists. She holds a B.A. in Art & Politics from UC Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. in Photography & Integrated Media from CalArts.

Further Reading and Press:                                                                                                            
Winant, Carmen, An Interview with Zoe Crosher, Daily Serving, An International Forum for the Contemporary Arts (, 7/11/2011.
Wagley, Katherine, Bas Jan Ader, Zoe Crosher, and the Art of Disappearing People. LAWeekly, 7/7/2011.                  
Misraje, Jenee, Artist Project: Transgressing the Pacific, LA-Like, Zoe Crosher. X-tra Magazine, Vol. 13, No.1, Fall 2010 

                          Zoe Crosher, LA-LIKE: Transgressing the Pacific, installation view.                              Photo credit: J.R. Valenzuela

Main Gallery
Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III
The speed at which we comprehend the letter Z and assign its task, whether as a hairpin turn or the beginning of a snooze, presents us with countless direct possibilities for interpretation.  As the least used letter in the alphabet, Z can be compared to an ex-planet like Pluto, whose questionable stature seems to also walk the line between inclusion and exclusion. If you were to approach the letter Z at 500 miles per hour, what type of memory would you be left with as you pass through its jagged shape?  
Language and speed are inherently connected. The rate at which one can receive messages is constantly increasing, coded characters continuously flung at greater invisible speeds. As I pass the road sign for ZZYZX at 100mph, I think briefly about a 1920’s spa, I listen to the music in my car, I text, and I smoke. All of this is liquefied in the desert sun. Is this so-called town at the end of the dictionary worth visiting? Maybe I would enjoy this experience more if my car was spinning seemingly out of control.            -J. Patrick Walsh III
“Poetry, in fact, is two quite distinct things. It may be either or both. One is a series of words that are intrinsically musical, in clang-tint and rhythm, as the single word cellar-door is musical. The other is a series of ideas, false in themselves, that offer a means of emotional and imaginative escape from the harsh realities of everyday.”
-H. L. Mencken

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present ZZYZX: an exhibition of new work by Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III. ZZYZX is a highway town, ranch and spa located in the Mojave Desert somewhere between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. According to Curtis Howe Springer, a self-proclaimed minister and medical doctor who created the word and named the site in 1944, ZZYZX is the final word in the English language and the ZZYZX hot springs are to be the “cure to end all cures”. The word was created by Springer solely to function as a linguistic anomaly, and is an interesting example of a word defined through its use rather than a word used by its definition.

For their exhibition at Las Cienegas Projects, Gomez and Walsh present a series of paintings, collages, sculptures and video that loosely explore various relationships between speed and movement, language, image and the conveyance of meaning.

Gomez continues his ongoing investigations into the ways in which meanings are contextualized and disseminated. Included are new paintings and sculptures that cite as their source a process of mining image-based blogs and online image archives. Divorced from their original context, the images––now painted––become physical signifiers of how a blogger might reassign their importance through appropriation and reuse. The paintings are complimented with a series of text works in which Gomez pulls from websites that generate Greek, a tool used by graphic designers to generate dummy text based on Cicero’s The Extremes of Good and Evil. The passage is algorithmically processed using hundreds of random Latin words subjected to a variety of permutations within pre-existing sentence structures which work to create a never-repeating, potentially endless arrangement of words and pseudo-words and create the visual appearance of the English Language. Gomez then translates this pseudo-Latin language into English. The phonetic merits of the selected phrases function much in the way that these images do, as abstractions that resonate based on their aesthetic presence rather than on their linguistic definitions.

Walsh features a series of sculptures and a single-channel video. The works thread themselves together by relating to the body’s movement through space, whether seated in repose at 0mph, walking through a threshold, or speeding in a car. In Whisper, two wax tires attached to steel rims sit on a small wooden table, behind which hangs a modified fashion poster, a checkered flag now dangling from the model’s mouth. Season 3 combines performance and sculpture into one object by drawing the viewer in through its colorfully striated threshold, created by a process of melting, coloring and forming reclaimed wax. Additional works revolve around notions of car movement (or stagnation), including Stephen King Sun Shade (SKSS), originally intended as a personal fundraising project for car improvements, which promised to block the sun from a car’s windshield while also warding off potential crooks by “striking fear in their hearts”; and Knife’s Sun, a video in which the artist removes a moldy ceiling liner from inside his 1984 Volkswagen Scirocco, distracted in the moment by the sun’s reflection caught in the knife. Cobra Gimp and Cobra Gimp Double use the armatures of two Marcel Breuer chair knockoffs to create a friendship braid-like cover around the bent metal piping.

Sayre Gomez (b. 1982, Chicago, Illinois) currently lives and works in Los Angeles and holds a B.F.A from the School of Art Institute of Chicago (2005) and an M.F.A. from CalArts (2008). Recent solo exhibitions include Self Expression or Fog and Other Works at Kavi Gupta Gallery Berlin, DE, and Self Expression at 1430 Contemporary in Portland, Or. Recent group exhibitions include California Dreamin’, curated by Fred Hoffman as part of Arte Portugal 2010, Other People’s Projects at White Columns in New York, and The Awful Parenthesis curated by Aram Moshayedi at Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles.

J. Patrick Walsh III (JPW3) (b. 1981, Tallahasee, Florida) is a Los Angeles-based artist working in sculpture and performance. His work shifts between interests in science, sound, architecture, archaeology, and speed. He has exhibited and performed in and around Los Angeles and New York including at Actual Size, Los Angeles; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY; D’Amelio Terras, NY; Elk Gallery, NY; Wildness, LA; and John Connelly Presents, NY, among others. He holds a B.F.A. from the The School of the Art Insititute of Chicago and is currently seeking an M.F.A. at the University of Southern California.

Tuck, Geoff, ZZYZX at Las Cienegas Projects, Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III, Notes On Looking, Contemporary Art In Los Angeles (,  7/9/2011.
Diehl, Travis, Critics’ Pick: Sayre Gomez and J. Patrick Walsh III, Las Cienegas Projects,, 6/30/2011.

Group Show (Exhibition design by Jesse Benson and Brian Mann) / Vincent Ramos and Diego Garza

May 14-June 11, 2011
Opening Reception Saturday May 14, 7-10 pm
Main Gallery
Exhibition Design by Jesse Benson and Brian Mann
Scheduled event: Saturday June 11, 2-4  pm (exhibition closing day)
LCP will host an open discussion led by Brian Mann, around (but not limited to) the exhibition itself and the division of labor within the contemporary art industry. This is an open discussion, so all are invited to show up and present ideas, questions, problems, etc. There is no format. Refreshments will be provided. 

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to announce a group exhibition featuring works by Greg Wilken, Torbjorn Vejvi, Lynton Talbot, Cauleen Smith, SEACA (Southeast Asian Community Alliance), Mark Roeder, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher, D’Ette Nogle, Dylan Marcus, Brian Mann, Tory Lowitz, Fred Lonidier, Amy Laughlin, Lisa Lapinski, William Jones, Daniel Ingroff, Katie Herzog, Kevin Hanley, Aaron GM, Erik Frydenborg, Rachel Foullon, Travis Farmen, Tom Ellis, Lucy Dodd, Michele Di Menna, Jesse Benson, Will Benedict, and Merwin Belin. 
A catalog will accompany the exhibition with new texts by Jan Tumlir and Michael Ned Holte.
Catalog essay by Jan Tumlir
Catalog essay by Michael Ned Holte
Catalog essay by Brian Mann
Exhibition Catalog
Project Space

Joe Messinger/Los Angeles Public Library

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present PACHUCO CADAVER OR THERE ARE NO HEAVIES IN AMERICA, a collaborative, research-based installation by Vincent Ramos and Diego J. Garza exploring notions of biography, speculation, and poetics surrounding the Chicano activist and attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta. Both Ramos and Garza have maintained an ongoing interest in Acosta’s life and role in the cultural and socio-political events of the 1960s and ‘70s. It was while initiating research at the L.A. Central Library that the artists discovered a photograph from the (now defunct) Herald Examiner’s original image archive. Dated June 9, 1969, the photo depicts Acosta walking with four other men into Parker Center while turning themselves in for charges stemming from a fire bombing incident at the Biltmore Hotel–a protest act against (then) Governor Ronald Reagan’s visit to the site. Acosta served as the lawyer for the defense. 

Upon closely observing the photograph, the pair became fascinated by the very distinct briefcase held by Acosta–an object packed with inherent period symbology for its distinct floral motif. Reminiscent of the then-waning, so-called “Flower Power” generation, this object’s outer skin, seen through a current lens, calls attention to itself as a cultural signifier of a very specific time. Since that initial archival finding, the pair became further interested in speculating upon the briefcase’s unknown, innermost contents. 

For the exhibition at Las Cienegas Projects, Ramos and Garza take on an exploration of these very notions of inside/outside and the private within the public. Attempting to understand both the man and the era within this dual context, Ramos and Garza have set up an exercise in conceptually-driven aesthetic associations, generated through research, museological display, object making, and fantasy. 

Vincent Ramos was born in Santa Monica, California. He received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2002 and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include Outsider Art: Others From Elsewhere Doing Something Altogether Different…Sort Of, 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica (2011) and Motown Took Us There and Motown Brought Us Back, Crisp London/Los Angeles (2008). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including All Time Greatest, FOCA, Los Angeles (2009); Post-American L.A., 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica (2009); and NY/LA: Artists from New York and Los Angeles, GBK Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2008). He is currently in the process of curating a group exhibition, tentatively entitled 8/29/70, for the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College that will open in the fall of 2011. His work has been written about in X-TRA,, Art Week, and the Los Angeles Times. Ramos is a 2010 recipient of the California Community Foundations Emerging Artist Fellowship. He was raised, lives and works in Venice, California. 

Diego J. Garza lives and works in Los Angeles. He is amused by tall-tales, local legends, questionable myths, subcultures and oppressive hierarchies, all of which inform his inter-disciplinary practice. He received a BA in Studio Art as well as Film & Visual Cultures from the University of California, Riverside in 2004, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2006. Garza is currently trying to learn the essential Black Sabbath bass riffs, the early years. 

Oscar Zeta Acosta was an attorney, writer, and activist. He participated in many key events in Los Angeles’ cultural, political, and social history during his time, including running for sheriff of Los Angeles County on a singular platform that promised to completely abolish the sheriff’s department if and when he won the election. His myriad of roles essentially made him a lightning rod for controversy that still plagues him, or his memory, to this day. He is probably best known as the infamous Dr. Gonzo in the classic American novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, written by fellow cultural anarchist, Hunter S. Thompson. Acosta was an accomplished novelist in his own right, publishing two books before his disappearance in Mexico in 1974.  Both Autobiography of A Brown Buffalo (1972) and The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973) have become classics within the Chicano literary canon and remain relevant for their vivid portrayals of the socio-political struggles of the Chicano people in the United States, specifically in Los Angeles, at that time. 




Dewey Ambrosino/Fugitive Insides (Group Exhibition)

April 9 – May 7, 2011
Main Gallery
Sound Stove

Sound immediately transcends the object or implement used to create it. The experience of sound is a function of our nervous system, which we are culturally conditioned to interpret and recognize. The very fact that phenomena like infrasound (subsonic sound below 20Hz) can be ‘felt’ but not heard creates a frustrated perceptual impulse, as we are sometimes roused to anxiety by an experience we can neither interpret nor dismiss as ‘noise’. If anxiety can only be resolved by attaching it to an object or cause, then in the absence of either, we tend to create one that is often either preternatural or supernatural.

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Sound Stove, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Dewey Ambrosino. Sound Stove is a full range cymatic installation that uses Cymatics, the study of sound made visible through vibration in matter, to generate a multifaceted sound-light site. The intention is to show the interpenetrating and interconnected nature of phenomena by prolonging the viewer/listener’s connection with the sound system and its resonant effects on matter, the human body and our aesthetic perception.

The Sound Stove itself is a 1952 O’Keefe & Merritt stove outfitted with two 15” subwoofer speakers in the ovens, four tweeters, and four midrange speakers that have replaced the burners underneath the grilles. In a reflection pool, the Sound Stove sits under theater lights, while on the stove sit varied containers with select contents to be “cooked” by the “beat burners”. As a rotation of content is “played” (compositions, experimental form generator sounds, dB drag racing – test tones or “burps”, and “bass race” competition tracks), each one is accompanied by its corresponding psychedelic-cymatic phenomena, projected onto the gallery wall. The projections create a phenomenology and typology of form that is especially pertinent in shape-building in nature and art. To date, there has been no known full-range cymatic experiment of this scale and parameter.

Dewey Ambrosino (b. 1967, Chicago) looks at space, sound, and art and design objects, folding one into the other. Ambrosino’s interdisciplinary practice is inspired by sound and its formative powers that can be used to generate visual art. Ambrosino holds a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Illinois, Chicago, a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and an MFA in Art from CalArts, Valencia.

Project Space
Fugitive Insides
100Xbtr, Didier Hess, Tim Durfee, Austin McCormick, and Ben Pruskin

Insides change often: the insides of our bodies, our interior spaces, and our exhibitions. Why is the interior given to such expedited change? Elusive, fleeting and ephemeral, something that flees, a fugitive…

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present Fugitive Insides, a group show featuring work by 5 Los Angeles artists, architects and designers whose theoretical practices center around the built environment. Included are installation-based, furniture and mixed media works by 100Xbtr, Didier Hess, Tim Durfee, Austin McCormick, and Ben Pruskin.

Ken Gonzales-Day/Dorit Cypis

March 5-April 2, 2011

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present 2 new solo exhibitions including Ken Gonzales-Day: PROFILED and Dorit Cypis: A Symmetry.

Main Gallery

Ken Gonzales-Day, Untitled, (Pierre-Jean David d’Angers, Bust of Ann Buchan Robinson, Museum of the City of New York; Joseph Nollekens, Venus, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Malvina Hoffman, Japanese Woman [337087], The Field Museum, Chicago; Malvina Hoffman, Eskimo Woman [337060], The Field Museum, Chicago), 2011. Lightjet print,  43 x 120 in.

A professor is arrested for breaking into his own home in Cambridge, MA. He is black. A traveller in a turban is detained and searched by airport security. A man is pulled over and questioned by police on suspicion that he may be undocumented. A 13-year-old boy kills himself after years of anti-gay bullying.  Gleaned from recent events, of which we can find countless similar examples daily, this is the backdrop against which PROFILED, a solo exhibition by Ken Gonzales-Day, emerged.

While each of these cases appears to have been directly influenced by the appearance, dress, or behavior of the victims, their acts of violence, mistreatment, injustice, and cruelty are reminiscent of the positivist claims of eighteenth century authors like Petrus Camper, Kaspar Lavater, and George-Louis Leclerc, who argued that inner qualities determine outward appearances. In the decade since 9/11, “profiling” is once again at the center of political debates on everything from sexual orientation to terrorism and immigration reform, at a time when scholars and scientists have increasingly come to believe that sexual orientation is more than a “choice” and that race has more to do with culture than biology.

For this exhibition, Gonzales-Day clusters and combines large photographs of historical sculptural works that reflect the idealization of whiteness, the emergence of racial typologies, and the latent sensuality found in so many museum collections. The intermingling of collected 19th and early 20th century photographs of same-same sex couples with his own large-scale photographs of historic sculptures of satyrs, hermaphrodites, an Apollo, or a Venus, offers a timely response to debates about same-sex unions; the placement of a satyr with a wooly chapped cowboy helps to playfully reframe such obvious displays of masculinity, while an ancient hermaphrodite is set along side 19th century images of cross-dressing men and women.  Using works he photographed from The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Getty Villa, École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the Field museum in Chicago (where he photographed the Malvina Hoffman Collection of sculptures from her 1933 exhibition, The Races of Mankind, in which Hoffman was commissioned to sculpt 104 distinct racial types as a permanent display), Gonzales-Day reconsiders the complex history of racial formation and gender normativity, providing a new perspective on what it means to be profiled in our own time.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will be publishing Gonzales-Day’s monograph Profiled in June of 2011, as its second artist’s book in the PAC Prize Series.

Ken Gonzales-Day lives and works in Los Angeles. His interdisciplinary and conceptually grounded projects consider the history of photography, the construction of race, and the history of representational systems ranging from the lynching photograph to museum display. He received an MFA from UC Irvine, MA from Hunter College (C.U.N.Y), and was a fellow at the Whitney Museum’s ISP program.  He has shown extensively both nationally and internationally.

Select solo exhibitions include UCSD Art Gallery, San Diego; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; CUE Art Foundation, NYC; Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles; Deep River, Los Angeles; and White Columns White Room, NYC.  Select group exhibitions include How Many Billboards, MAK Center, West Hollywood; Phantom Sightings, LACMA, Los Angeles; Encuentro Hemispherico, Bogota; Under Erasure, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin; Under Pain of Death, Austrian Cultural Forum, NYC; ArtMediaPolitique, DIX291, Paris; Crimes of Omission, ICA Philadelphia; Exile of the Imaginary: Aesthetics, Politics, Love, Generali Foundation, Vienna; Civil Restitutions, Thomas Dane Gallery, London; Log Cabin, Artists Space, NYC; Made in California, LACMA, Los Angeles, among others.

Further reading and press:

Holly Myers, In the Studio: Ken Gonzales-Day, Los Angeles Times, Feb 13, 2011

Sharon Mizota, Art Review: Ken Gonzales-Day at Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2011

Peter Frank, Haiku Reviews: Peter Frank and George Heymont On Theatre And Painting, Huffington Post, April 8, 2011

Project Space
A Symmetry
Dorit Cypis, A Symmetry (Europe), 2011

What do a letter by Lord Byron, a letter from King George V, a Weeping Beech tree in Hyde Park, London, a silver box engraved with Arabic text, pre-biblical urns and vessels, post enlightenment European porcelain, and a tree in Yosemite National Park have in common?  Each item plays a part in the asymmetrical time-line narrative of A Symmetry, a philosophic exercise on making sense, or non-sense, of unfathomable collective cultural-political histories via personal objects that confound as they illustrate.

A Symmetry continues Dorit Cypis’ exploration of the psycho-physical-social aspects of history, knowledge and experience, drawing on details revealed in her recent performance The Artist and Her Archives, which was presented at the conclusion of a research residency, FabLab (looking for patterns), at 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, California. A Symmetry, a further iteration developed for Las Cienegas Projects, is a time line of photographs charting when the seven objects (named above), chosen from the artist’s personal archive, were created, sighted, and/or obtained. What confound the linear indexing of these objects are the stories behind each one that weave a labyrinthine path of personal, historical, and political dimensions.

Dorit Cypis has used performative strategies, photography, and social sculpture to explore identity as psychophysical and political since the 1980’s. Her work has been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, International Center of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Orange County Museum, Walker Art Center, Musee d’Art Contemporain/Montreal, Musee desBeaux Arts/Bruxelles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art, in addition to international galleries and artist spaces. Cypis has taught on the topics of identity, representation, social relations, and conflict transformation at universities and colleges across the USA as well as in Canada, Holland, France, Switzerland, and Israel.  She is currently teaching at Otis Center for Art and Design.

Cypis has designed and directed public programs including Kulture Klub Collaborative, Minneapolis, 1992-1998, (artists working with homeless youth to develop their capacity for creative expression) and Foundation for Art Resources, FAR, Los Angeles, 1979-1982, (assisting artists to work collectively and to situate art in the public domain). She earned an MFA (1977) from Californian Institute of the Arts, and after completing a Masters of Dispute Resolution (2005), Cypis founded and currently directs Foreign Exchanges, developing tools of engagement across personal and cultural differences.

Cypis has received numerous awards and fellowships, i.e. National Endowment for the Arts, Japan Foundation, Bush, McKnight, Jerome, Ordway and Durfee Foundations, City of Los Angeles Cultural Arts, and Fellows of Contemporary Art.  She is Chair of the Middle East Initiative, Mediators Beyond Borders.


Peter Frank, Haiku Reviews: Peter Frank and George Heymont On Theatre And Painting, Huffington Post, April 8, 2011

Photography © Fredrik Nilsen

THE ARCHAIC REVIVAL Curated by Dani Tull

January 29-February 26, 2011

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to announce The Archaic Revival, a group exhibition curated by Los Angeles-based artist Dani Tull.

The term Archaic Revival is a reference to Terence Mckenna’s 1992 book The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History, which hypothesizes that civilization’s current state of distress has resulted in a grappling into our collective memory and the “morphic resonance” of our past 3.5 million years for steading metaphors that reconnect us to the entelechy of the planet: the Gaian mind. Terence Mckenna (1946–2000) was an American writer, philosopher, ethnobotanist, mystic and prophet who advocated paths of shamanism and the use of plant-based psychedelics as a means of increasing many forms of human awareness.

The Archaic Revival incorporates a wide array of cultural models and technologies such as shamanism, pantheism, pagan ritual, alchemy and magic as well as the 20th century avant-garde art movements of jazz, surrealism, and cubism (with its glorification of the primitive, modern anthropology). More recently, the expanding power of the internet and new media technologies have also become powerful tools that infuse and ignite ancient and contemporary understandings of tribal connectivity, inspiring a sense of global coherence, along with a brewing notion of a new cyber-mystical domain of “infomysticism” and “techgnosis”. Furthermore, indigenous ceremonial medicines once misused as “psychedelic drugs” have become re-contextualized in Western culture as sacramental “entheogens”, while tribal festivals, ecstatic dance, and a flourishing awareness of critical environmental issues and sustainable living have reawakened our traditional attitudes toward nature. Perhaps most interestingly, Mckenna’s Archaic Revival signifies the eventual breakdown of the pattern of male dominance and hierarchy based on “animal organization,” and takes us back to the ideal of a vegetational “Earth Goddess”.

The Archaic Revival features 31 established and emerging artists and performers from Los Angeles, Portland, and Rotterdam whose works can be considered as manifestations of a burgeoning dialogue from within the collective subconscious of contemporary art. The artists in the exhibition use allegorical code, sacred plant knowledge, magic and an untethered glossolalia, while their works intuit mysticism, alchemy, fetishistic processes, prophecy, and even humor.

The artists of The Archaic Revival call upon their ancestors to find their footing into the future, a future that is undoubtedly becoming stranger and more uncertain. And as humanity ponders the possibility of its own extinction, we find ourselves reaching back through history and mythology to find a greater affinity with our own genesis.

–Dani Tull

The exhibition will also feature special musical performances
and ceremonial happenings:

Saturday Jan 29
“Mujical” performance
by featherbeard during opening reception

Friday Feb 4, 7:30 pm
Oracle readings by Maja D’aoust and “Spectral Psychography”
by Christian Cummings and Michael Decker

Sunday Feb 13, 1:00 pm
Ceremonial Earth Acupuncture Dream Journey
by Urban Shaman Eric Baumgartner

The Entrance Band


***See THE ARCHAIC REVIVAL promotional commercial***
on Vimeo

on YouTube

The Archaic Revival, review by Doug Harvey, Modern Painters, February 10, 2011 (on
Sarah Cromarty, Ka-dinh and Mia, 2011. Mixed media on panel, 8 x 4 ft.
Liz Craft, I’m #1, 2010. Ceramic, 10 x 6 in.
Installation view. Left to right- Brian Randolph, Arc, 2009, ink on paper, 38 x 20 in.; Wreath, 2011, ink on paper, 29 x 30 in.; Trinity, 2010, ink on paper, 30 x 20 in.; (Jim Shaw and  Amy Sarkisian  works, see below)
Amy Sarkisian, The Gods, 2004. Foam, beads, adhesive, paint. 54 x 9 x 7 in. ea.
Jim Shaw, Devil is in the Details, 2011.  Airbrush and ink on panel, 24 x 24 in.
Installation view.  In foreground, left- Mindy Shapero, Totem Vision, 2010.  Wood, steel, glass mosaic, 10′ x 15″ x 12″; center- Stephen McCarty, Sacred Canometry, 2011. Steel cans, rivets, wire, coconuts, 24 x 24 x 8 in.
Pentti Monkkonen, Mill, 2010.  Cotton, 42 x 50 in. and Erie Canal, 2010.  Cotton, 40 x 49 in.
Sandeep Mukherjee, Untitled (Oblique 1), 2011.  Acrylic and embossed drawing on duralene, 60 x 54 in.
Installation view.  Left to right-  Anna Sew Hoy, Ghost Table, 2011.  Glazed ceramic, wood, and fabric; Michael Decker, The Night When All Cows are Black…, 2011. Found and altered wood, 64 x 55 x 4 in.; Francesca Gabbiani, Gold Rush, 2009. Colored paper, gouache on paper, 55 x 58 in.
Wendell Gladstone, Life Cycle, 2010.  Acrylic on canvas, 65 x 45 in.
Marnie Weber, The Earth Became the Sun and We Rejoiced As Beings of Light, 2010. Collage and acrylic paint on paper, 40 x 26 in.
Left to right- Thaddeus Strode, Commencement, 2011.  Mixed media on canvas, 20 x 16 in. ea.; Stephen McCarty, Sacred Canometry, 2011. Steel cans, rivets, wire, coconuts, 24 x 24 x 12 in.; Marnie Weber, The Earth Became the Sun and We Rejoiced As Beings of Light, 2010. Collage and acrylic paint on paper, 40 x 26 in. (rocks: foam, foamcoat and acrylic acrylic paint, dim’s variable)
Pearl Hsiung, Kabloom, 2010. Oil-based enamel on canvas, 40 x 30 in.
Allison Schulnik, Sad Hobo, 2010.  Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in.
Alia Penner, Window #3, Window #2, Door, and Window #1.  All 2010, oil on panel
Landon Wiggs: Vanity, Unknown Drama, 2009-2011. Mirror, wood, steel, iron filings, charcoal, urethane, vermiculite, rice flour, glass, taxidermy, 86 x 58 x 30 in.; Fry We Buy You, 2008-2011.  Glass, wood, LED, 85 x 42 x 13 in.; As Is, Time-Space Capsules, 2010-2011. Volcanic ash, vermiculite, rice flour, glass, urethane, wood, 53 x 13 x 11 in. and 33 x 20 x 24 in.
Installation view.  Left- Chromium Dumb Belle, various works (Sun Arrows and Cocoons; Lady Vesuvius; Sunbonnet; Archeaon; Aurora Goddess of Dawn; and The Virgin of Heliopolis) 2010-11, mixed media, dim’s variable; Chromium Dumb Belle, Sun Testament, 2011. Video, 3 min.  Right- Landon Wiggs,  various works (see above)
Charles Irvin, Truck Nutz Project Part 1, 2010.  Mixed media, 75 x 53 x 12 in.

Simon Leung/Nils Schirrmacher/Yvonne Rainer

December 17 – January 22, 2011
Main Gallery
Simon Leung
Simon Leung, POE. 2007/2010.

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present POE, Simon Leung’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2002. Thinking of and with Edgar Allan Poe’s writing, life, and influence in relationship to a wide range of issues around political/aesthetic life, Leung essays a palimpsestic video and spatial response to Robert Smithson’s 1968 provocation that “Poe’s Narrative of A. Gordon Pym seems to (him) excellent art criticism and prototype for rigorous ‘non-site’ investigations.”

POE is Leung’s investigation of this legacy of the “site/non-site dialectic,” one of Smithson’s primary concepts that proposed a methodological realignment for artists from the 1960s onward. For Leung, who first encountered Smithson’s quotation in the ‘80s from Craig Owen’s theorization of the allegorical impulse in postmodernism, a re/turn to Poe was also prompted by the central position Poe holds in psychoanalysis and literary theory. Filmed in New York City, Poland (Poe Land), and Southern California, and addressing topics such as the 21st century American presence in Iraq; the congruence between historical, architectural, and psychic repression; and instability between “primary” and “secondary” orders of information, POE features performances by Yvonne Rainer, Warren Niesłuchowski, Hong-an Truong, Michael Ano, Marcus Civin, Sandy de Lissovoy, Kristine Thompson, Lara Odell, Grant Komjakraphan, and the late Gregory Poe.

This presentation of POE is the first time the work has been shown in its three-part form, with each channel containing a looped video segment that addresses a multivalent picturing of the non-site from within, not as irreducible entities that exist only in relationship to an originary “site,” but as transitions between registers. Each transitional passage, consisting of text (a quotation), image (a static scene), or story (a “secondary” narrative) is then repeated in the two segments that they border, acting both as anchors and exposed seams for the “primary” stories. This filmic distanciation, achieved through editing, is then repeated in visual terms in one of the segments when Leung uses the video green screen as a drawing machine, highlighting ways in which “picturing” is itself a site of struggle; and in spatial terms through the design of the viewing apparatus. Central to Leung’s thinking is how the video “green screen” and figures such as the “green zone” in Baghdad can be analyzed as parallel structures in which incommensurate realities are pushed up against each other to create the illusion of a seamless whole.

For the design of the installation, Leung returns to Poe’s description of the chasms in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym that so intrigued Robert Smithson. Toward the end of the novel, Poe resorts to using drawings, rather than language, to describe the gigantic chasms that the narrator cannot decide definitively as either geological formations or human compositions. In constructing the architectural viewing apparatus, Leung bases the design of the structure, conceived to flip between inside/outside/darkness/light, on one of these illustrations. After the design for the apparatus was determined, Leung commissioned artist Dewey Ambrosino to make the seating for POE. Working in collaboration with artist/designer Brendan Sowersby, Ambrosino and Sowersby designed the viewing lounges based on an interpretation of motifs described in Poe’s essay The Philosophy of Furniture and “the macabre and neurotic nature” of his other writings. The music accompanying the first of Yvonne Rainer’s dance sequences is by composer Mark Behm; the choreography is Rainer’s own.

Simon Leung was born in Hong Kong and studied at UCLA, Columbia University, and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He has presented solo exhibitions at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Pat Hearn Gallery, and the Huntington Beach Art Center, and has also exhibited at NGBK (Berlin), Generali Foundation (Vienna), Sala Mendoza (Caracas), 1a Space (Hong Kong), the Munich Kunstverein, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles). He participated in the Guangzhou Triennial (2008), the Luleå Summer Biennial (2005), the Venice Biennale (2003), and the Whitney Biennial (1993). In 2008, he received a Guggenheim fellowship as an artist, and the Art Journal Award from the College Art Association as the author of his essay “The Look of Law.” He has taught in the Studio Art Department at UC Irvine since 2001.

The presentation of Simon Leung’s project POE was supported by a Durfee Foundation Artists’ Resource for Completion Grant.

Press                                                                                                                                                Jenny Lin, Simon Leung: POE, Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles. X-tra Magazine, Vol 13, Number 4, Summer 2011 

(installation photos by Nicolas Marques)

Project Space
Nils Schirrmacher
Nils Schirrmacher, Bungalow 1, 2008. Inkjet prints, acrylic on illustration board,                         30 X 40 inches

Las Cienegas Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Nils Schirrmacher. Underlying Schirrmacher’s work is an interest in the attempts of cultures and individuals to place consciousness within the contexts of meaning and purpose, and the factors that can undermine such endeavors. Comprised of 4 photomontages, the work involves the artist’s comparative study of two extreme ideologies: the utopianism that flourished in Californian colonies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the totalitarianism of Nazi Germany. The structures depicted here are conflations of buildings that pertain to this history.

The artist uses a multi-step process to construct his images: reconstructing the subject matter in miniature, documenting the model with photographs, dissecting the photos, and then reassembling the image using collage and retouching. Architectural sources include a portable chicken coop designed by Charles Weeks, founder of two utopian colonies, and the sole architectural remnant of German Town, a group of structures replicating German housing that were built to test incendiary bombs during World War Two. While investigating the drives that are common to both utopian and totalitarian impulses, Schirrmacher uses architecture to mark the intersection of landscape and the perceived cultural destinies of groups engaged in utopian and fascist regimes.

Nils Schirrmacher is a Los Angeles artist who uses scale models, photography, and collage to explore historical responses to the dilemma of consciousness. He received a BFA in Sculpture from California College of the Arts, and an MFA from UC Irvine. Recent exhibitions include “Glue, Paper, Scissors” at Cal State LA’s Luckman Gallery.

Back Room
Yvonne Rainer
Not Much To Look At

Yvonne Rainer’s “Not Much To Look At” is a 25-minute sound installation consisting of a comfortable couch, two headphones, and a CD player. A collaboration between Rainer and electronic composer Quentin Chiappetta, it comprises the soundtrack of her latest dance for six people, “Assisted Living: Good Sports 2”, which will have its world premiere at the Pompidou Museum in January 2011.