The Road to Hell is Paved… (Group Show) / James Benning / Isabell Heimerdinger

October 9 – November 6, 2010

Main Gallery
THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED…
Group Exhibition Curated by Biddy Tran

The Road to Hell is Paved… considers the impact of hegemonic practices on societies, cultures, and individuals that result in marginalization and subordination. In this exhibition, various artists explore these issues, exposing and articulating the resultant fallout that this practice leaves in its wake.  Artists deal with issues of colonialism and hegemony by investigating the underpinnings of conventions of representation, as well as utopian or colonialist ideals that perpetuate or produce economic and cultural oppression.

Dennis Adams appropriates two iconic gestures from the 1960 French film Breathless and reworks them to reflect the radical political context of that time. Using digital editing techniques, Adams calls attention to actress Jean Seberg’s real world affiliation with the Black Panthers, and the racial and political tension that culminates in the Algerian War of Independence.

Interview with Betty Ann extends Andrea Bowers’ interest in storytelling. But this time she turns the camera on herself, recalling her correspondence with a woman bead artist that she met at the Arctic Village, in Alaska. In this video Bowers wrestles with issues of the subaltern in a problematic relationship with predominantly Eurocentric environmentalists’ attempts to collaborate with locals to fight against climate change. The work additionally examines her personal struggle as an author attempting to present biographical material relating to another woman unfamiliar with the language of power.

Michelle Dizon‘s work focuses on questions of postcoloniality, globalization, migration, social movements, human rights, and historical memory. Filmed at a Philippine gold mine, her two-channel video installation explores the transformation of raw material into value, the liberalization of third world economies, and the imperial specter that lives-on in the contemporary processes of globalization.

Charles Gaines attempts to reveal the political underpinnings of experiencing art by focusing on the linguistic structures that result in our ideas and feelings.

Joaquin Segura’s flag piece, Untitled (Flags of our Fathers, U.S Confederates-Angola), is part of a continuing series that is the result of a rigorous investigation on the heraldic elements that conflate the identities of an assortment of radical groups, ranging from the extreme right-wing to violent leftist organizations. Color patterns of the flags in which the US has exerted open or veiled military influence were also integrated into the various designs of the works. The work scrutinizes the “absurdity of absolute ideologies,” and the manipulation of “heraldic elements” that create conformed identities.

With Untitled (MP5K PDW), Nate Young explores a cultural obsession with violence, collapsing opposite poles into a single gesture and opening a space in which the binary opposition must be questioned in relation to cultural construction.

Stills from A Study of Gratification and Restraint No. 2 are a documentation of a collaborative video, in which Nery Gabriel Lemus and Nate Young further illustrate issues of racial tension, violence and gratification through the gradual and painstakingly literal consumption of weapons.

Back Room
JAMES BENNING
John Krieg Exiting the Falk Corporation in 1972
James Benning, still from John Krieg Exiting the Falk Corporation in 1971, 2010.  HD video, tinted black and white, 71 min.


LCP is pleased to premier John Krieg Exiting the Falk Corporation in 1971, a new video by James Benning.  Benning has been making films and videos since 1970.

Project Space
ISABELL HEIMERDINGER
Selling Chinese Cabbage
Isabell Heimerdinger, still from Good Friends, 2010. 35mm film shown on video, 4:30 min.


Selling Chinese Cabbage is an installation and ongoing series of works by German artist Isabell Heimerdinger. Comprised of three elements– Heimerdinger’s new film Good Friends; an artist book-making installation; and a postcard piece– the work was initiated during a recent trip to Beijing.

In Heimerdinger’s short film Good Friends, premiered earlier this year at Art Basel, a minimalist performance unwittingly takes place in a crowded Beijing restaurant, as two men swap tables during their meals and continue to eat as if nothing unusual has happened. The film’s highly decorative setting contrasts its open-ended plot, turning it into a dense visual experience. In Hidden Location II, a snapshot taken by the artist during a visit to the Great Wall of China is hidden within a series of postcards she purchased there. And for the exhibition’s opening reception, Heimerdinger will photocopy, fold and bind copies of her Chinese Cabbage, an artist book containing 23 drawings that narrate the gradual diminishing of a pile of cabbage during the course of a working day. At the same time, the drawings illustrate a rather contemplative daily life, contrasting the accelerated economic growth and power currently taking place in China. The book will be on sale throughout the exhibition.

The central theme in Heimerdinger’s practice has been the penetration of the cinematographic world and everyday reality, in which she concerns herself primarily with the figure of the actor. In photographic as well as cinematic testing setups, she plumbs the depths of the partly subtle differences between acted and authentic behavior, between role and identity, between posing and genuine expression. In doing so, she often uses strictly analog technologies, such as slides, Polaroid photography, and 16mm film.

Heimerdinger (b. 1963, Stuttgart, Germany) holds dual MFAs from the Academy of Visual Arts Düsseldorf, and CalArts, Los Angeles. She has held solo shows extensively both internationally and in Germany, including Hollywood ist ein Verb, Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz, Austria (2008); Anfang der Nacht, Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin (2007); and Trailer, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles (2004). Her film work has been screened in such notable venues as the Camden Art Center, London; the Arsenal, Berlin; and Centre Pompidou, Paris. A former Los Angeles resident (1993-1999), she currently lives and works in Berlin.


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