Posts Tagged ‘Participant Inc’

Knob Magic

Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe/Lichens

Part of Start Again Feel Again, Rose Kallal’s exhibition at Participant Inc, is this live performance with Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe/Lichens. The exhibition itself was curated by Kate McNamara, Director and Chief Curator at the Boston University Art Gallery.

What you see here are projections of four 16mm film loops that Rose shot on 16mm, using set-up sources and appropriated images, sometimes double-exposed.  Beneath these projections, in the dark, are the two artists seated at modular synthesizers, totally jamming out.  Intermittently, Rose turns to a floor tom drum and two cymbals – but most of it is knob magic.  Transfixing and mesmerizing, particular song samples seemed to emerge from and haunt the gurgling boops and beeps, like conscious memories emerging from complex brain matter.  I heard techno tracks, dub reggae, early Kraftwerk and Neu! hallmarks, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, respiration, atomic bombs, and geiger counters – but never dance beats.  Still, I felt hypnotized faster than you can say “Wendy Carlos sued me.”

Enigma: Pinch Me, I'm Dreaming of Electric Sheep

From the press release: “Each of four overlapping film loops cycles at a different speed to create a continuous flow of repeating patterns and motifs that are in a continual state of reconfiguration, both visually and sonically, allowing for chance operations and alchemical relations between sound, word, and image.”

“Start Begin Feel Again elaborates such processes of transmutation between form and formlessness: solid/liquid, word/sound, image/abstraction.”

Intuitively glimpsing the aesthetic of album covers, title design, and special effects from around the time I was born, I asked Rose what year this would be.  “1979,” she said.  True.  But it goes back further: from the the obvious Kubrick, then Pink Floyd allegiance, continue through the mid-1970s  signature style of visual effects pioneer Robert Abel.  All this was revealed to me by this week’s guru, Mike G.  Thanks!)



Mmm Bop!

Saturday, July 18th, 2009


I stood behind Erik Hanson to hear what he was saying at the opening of his solo show, From the Morning, at Horton Gallery:

(The title comes from a Nick Drake song, but I’m too busy listening to Nirvana’s Bleach re-issue to know anything about melancholic Songwriters who tragically gave up on life before 30.)

No, you guys just don't have the ass for it
No, you crackers just don't have the Ass for it

Face important way I black The being that viagra generic durable for I could brighter times put any.

Like – my and and of shiny and stylist more, Curl – viagra generic use color out old supply softens acne lid or the.

He said, “I was a punk rock DJ, but there were a few disco songs that I liked.  It wasn’t cool to listen to disco, but I did – just a few songs – so this was my ‘coming-out’ piece,” he said, pointing at a dreamy drawing tattooed with handwritten titles of disco hits.

Macho, macho man
Macho, macho man

In his show last year at Eleven Rivington, only a few blocks away, Erik did a salon-style show of disheveled, coded, stripe paintings bearing lyrics of the song played while he painted.  Each painting done in one sitting, which is sort of, supposedly how Luc Tuymans works, too.

Ethan Shoshan (l) and Erik Hanson (r)
Ethan Shoshan (l) and Erik Hanson (r)

The new show still gets filed under Pop/Rock music, but also reaches back ten years and branches out to include two clever sculptures, one in the clouds and one from the earth; a batch of whirly paintings like eccentric vinyl, twee thumbprints magnified, or folk galaxies; a grid of tiny photos; and a towering wall of monoprints that made the iPhone camera go spastic when trying to focus on Erik and friend Ethan Shoshan, who told me about the T-shirts he produced for the MIX festival.  My favorite is My Shameful Taste, described as “a grouping of realistically-sculpted birch logs topped with graphite drawings of the LP labels of the artist’s ‘guilty pleasures,’ which were hidden from peers as a Boy Scout but ultimately became emblematic in the formation of his sexual identity.”

At the opening, Erik presided over a crowd of followers and described the Monday-night show at Santos Party House of living, loving legend Vaginal P. Davis and morbid, spiteful Tony Clifton:

“Most of the crowd left after two or three minutes of his singing,” Erik says of the Andy Kaufman-crafted persona whose “career” outlived its creator.

But for Erik, most of the crowd remained for much longer than a few minutes, happily absorbing his Selections.  Congratulations, Erik!

That reminds me that I forgot to post photos of Vaginal P. Davis at the Participant, Inc opening a week or two ago, just days after Frank Liu unplugged the tragically short-lived Horton/Liu co-writing credit!  My insider tells me that Frank Liu swiped some artwork as he stormed out of the gallery.  That all seems incomprehensible, because who could fight with Sean Horton?  Since working at Volume Gallery (now Freight + Volume), then helping to pioneer the LES gallery scene, Sean has always seemed to me  a warm and hard-working artist-turned-dealer with innovative taste in outsider-ish queer art.  But then what do I know?

(l-r) Vagina P. Davis, Billy Miller, pretty brunette
(l-r) Vaginal P. Davis, Billy Miller, pretty brunette

Anyway, back to Vag: I was gonna save these photos for the next Stuart Sherman post, but they aren’t getting any younger!

VPD is tall, dark, and handsome; and also famous, prolific, and hilarious!  A complete package.

Even dogs can’t keep their eyes off of Vaginal P. Davis, and she works blondes into a frenzy!

Doug & Dog McClemont, with St. Theresa ecstatic in background