Monday, January 10, 2011

Closing day for shows at the Armory.

Took myself to see the closing day of 2 shows at the Armory in Pasadena.  I went with the intent on seeing NewTown: Convergences--a look at new media and installation. I was curious to see what people are making was was blown away. Saw a work inspired by Helen Hill.  I have a few friends that knew her and she must have been a remarkable woman to have so many talk of her and work to keep her memory alive. Nancy Buchanan and Ismael De Anda had a sweet little piece playing with the idea of pinatas. Heidi Kumao worked with projected image and different planes/surfaces for projected image. Robert Ladislas Derr played with a box and explored confinement . This reminded me of the arts walk in St. Paul where there was an installation of a man in a box.  At the end of the night, I went back to see the man in the box-most kids loved it, thought it was funny.  As I returned to the St. Paul installation I saw parents with a child saying LOOK LOOK!  What I got to look at was a kid freaking out!  She started climbing up her dad onto his shoulder saying I DON'T LIKE THIS!
Robert Ladislas Derr's work was video of his wife and himself moving in a box.  The observer then looked through a box to see the video.  It was a very intimate work.

Lastly, my favorites, (can't find my notes to credit them) were works that played with technology in the great outdoors with a fire projected on a bunch of logs, a shadow play of a man online in a tent, a cell phone tower looking like a tree that gives one four bars and projected images of our parks and encroaching technology.  The other was titled Looking Glass that had a new twist on voyeurism in spying on a diorama of a man watching tv across the armory.

A sweet surprise was the closing reception of Steve Roden: In Between, a 20 Year Survey. It was nice to be in the space with lots of people looking at the work and lively conversation filling the space.  I found it amazing that I had never heard of this artist and then this morning, there he was, posted on the LACMA blog, talking of the Blinky Palermo site that closes this Sunday.  I enjoyed looking at his comments since I know I breezed through this work and was much more intent and into the work of William Eggleston.  Eggleston's work brought tears to my eyes and put me on this newer drive to create.
Back to Steve Roden's work, it was very heady.  One can tell that each work comes from a place of deep introspection.  The sound/audio work was what of course I remembered.  Although not playing sound at the time of my crossing, Roden had a piece/sonic box that was naked speakers/horns inside different size bottles which really got me thinking about possibilities in my work.  He also did a mixed media/projected work about the moon that was in a vault gallery --the old vault of the building-  this work had a plaster cast record that took the projection but then the shadow beyond--the silhouette was a beautiful "moon rise" so to speak.  Roden also explored the dimensions of his body and proportion and made work related to that exploration.  He had a "bed of sound" that had a handmade quilt created by his mother as well as speakers and "tinker toys"/building blocks with it.  The color alone of the sculpture was amazing.
Roden's work made me think of how to play with words, concepts and an aural tradition.  It also makes me think that the vérité recordings I like to make and use could be enhanced by broader, more abstract or conceptual sculpture-or nothing at all--being confident of the sound itself. _______________________ _________________________________

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