DEATH SHOW

“Using methods from dynamical systems theory, we introduce and analyze a suite of simple equations modeling a population which consumes resources for the purpose of running a technological civilization and the feedback those resources drive on the state of the host planet. The feedbacks can drive the planet away from the initial state the civilization originated in and into domains that are detrimental to its sustainability.”

 

Frank A. Carroll-Nellenback, J. Alberti M. and Kleidon A. (2018). “The Anthropocene Generalized: Evolution of Exo-Civilizations and Their Planetary Feedback”. Astrobiology. https://doi.org/10.1089/ast.2017.1671.

 

DEATH SHOW

 

Ian Hokin, Ian James, Mervin Jules, Erin Morrison, Molly Surazhsky, Pamela Valfer

 

The Rapa Nui people of Easter island are perhaps most well known for their monolithic human figures the Moai. These mysterious carved effigies could weigh in excess of 80 tonnes and have fascinated archaeologists and tourists for centuries. But for Astrobiologists, the Rapa Nui represent an uncanny model civilization, one that once thrived, but then collapsed. It is believed that Poleponesian people began colonizing Easter island around 400-700 CE, the abundant natural resources and comfortable climate made Easter island an ideal environment for an isolated civilization to flourish. The extremely remote island was effectively a closed ecosystem with minimal trade or communication with the outside world. By 1,200 CE the Rapa Nui had developed a highly sophisticated culture with a thriving population of 10,000 people that lasted until about 1,500 CE, it was during this time that many of the Moai were erected. By the time Europeans arrived at Easter Island in 1722, the population had fallen to 2,000. This type of collapse is consistent with population models that approximate the effects of over-consumption of natural resources within a closed biosphere. It is believed that the Rapa Nui depleted their available resources while destroying their environment, and once they did so, they lacked the technical capacity to to save their civilization. Once they realized that they were in trouble, it was too late.

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is excited to announce DEATH SHOW, the second chapter of THE GREAT FILTER TRILOGY. Building on the narrative arch that began with our previous exhibition, EX NIHILO, DEATH SHOW explores the long-term repercussions, or Planetary Feedback that may face a technologically sophisticated civilization that harvests energy from the finite natural resources of its biosphere. Inlight of the recent IPCC report on Climate Change it has become unreasonable to ignore the coming mortal impact of global warming, this exhibition attempts to serve as a reminder that all stories must end.

 

Come celebrate Halloween and the first day of Dia de Muertos with us for a special Wednesday Opening this Wednesday, Oct 31, 7-10pm. Costumes are encouraged, please BYOB. DEATH SHOW will be on view Mondays and by appointment through December 10th.

 

Ian Hokin is a painter who combines a comics-inspired graphic style with viruostic technical ability to create humorous and contemplative scenes often involving stylized characters and personal allegory. Ian James is a interdisciplinary photographer whose shamanic photo-objects often combine images with custom supports and found material to create new-age reliquaries. In addition to his art production, James is founder of Leroy’s (happy place) in Chinatown. Mervin Jules was an American Social Realist painter active from 1935 until his death in 1994. Erin Morrison makes low-relief sculpture cast in plaster that reflect her relationship to feminism and Los Angeles flora. Morrison is founding member of Gallery Artist Reform, Los Angeles, or GAR_LA. Molly Surazhsky returns for with a new iteration of her wall vinyl Mashacare with Bull, 2018 originally featured in EX NIHILO. Pamela Valfer is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily between video and installation, her research-based practice often combines vernacular media with political critique through subtle architectural interventions.

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.

EX NIHILO

“Where is everybody?

 

Jones, E. M. (1985). “”Where is everybody?” An account of Fermi’s question”” . Los Alamos National Laboratory. OSTI 785733. http://www.osti.gov/accomplishments/documents/fullText/ACC0055.pdf

 

“No alien civilizations have substantially colonized our solar system or systems nearby. Thus among the billion trillion stars in our past universe, none has reached the level of technology and growth that we may soon reach. This one data point implies that a Great Filter stands between ordinary dead matter and advanced exploding lasting life. And the big question is: How far along this filter are we?”

 

Hanson, Robin (1998). “The Great Filter — Are We Almost Past It?”. http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/greatfilter.html

 

EX NIHILO

In 1996 economics professor and researcher Robin Hanson authored a paper that asked why we have yet to encounter intelligent extraterrestrial life. Building off a decades old question first proposed by physicist Enrico Fermi at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1950, Hanson argued that given the relative ease with which intelligent life seems to have  formed on Earth in terms of biology, and given the abundance (billions) of Earth-like planets in the universe, statistically speaking, there should be a (very) high probability of intelligent life developing somewhere among the nearly infinite expanse of space and time – So why haven’t we found them yet? Hanson’s paper proposed that somewhere along the biological or technological development of civilizations, there must be a mechanism that interferes with their development and prevents them from achieving the capacity for interstellar travel, colonization and/or communication, Hanson called this mechanism The Great Filter.

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is proud to announce EX NIHILO the first chapter in THE GREAT FILTER TRILOGY an exhibition of three interconnected shows that will unfold over the course of 20 weeks. Each chapter of the trilogy will deal with a different set of cultural and political concerns presented against the backdrop of evolving American identity. EX NIHILO is latin for “out of nothing,” it is often used to evoke divine creation or genesis.

 

EX NIHILO features six emerging Los Angeles-based artists working in painting, social practice, sculpture and drawing. The exhibition was curated around the idea of birth and beginning – How do we start the stories we tell? Where does our history begin?

 

Cheryl Bentley is a interdisciplinary artist whose graphite drawings interrogate the physiological origins of our collective and personal traumas. Adam de Boer  paints his Dutch-Indonesian heritage through vibrate portraits that blend western oil painting with traditional Indonesian batik processes. Nina Hartmann is a printmaker and designer, her layered paintings incorporate archival images she collects and silk-screens onto hand-dyed supports. Alyssa Rogers is a painter whose eclectic style dives deep into her own subconscious often combining images from her dreams and memories. Molly Surazhsky combines her Russian heritage with contemporary influences to create social interventions that challenge the corporatization of our lives. Sarah Ann Weber is a painter whose large scale panels often combine painting and drawing to create floral all-over compositions inspired by impressionism and the California landscape.

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.

BOOTLEG CINEMA

BOOTLEG CINEMA

Co-organized by Hunter Shaw and ELEVATOR MONDAYS

 

Part 1: Aug 20, 12pm-12am

Part 2: Aug 27, 12pm-12am

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is proud to announce BOOTLEG CINEMA a special 2-part screening event co-organized by Hunter Shaw and ELEVATOR MONDAYS. Split into two 12-hour screenings at our new, air conditioned DIY movie theater, BOOTLEG CINEMA offers a respite to the summer heat and recent demise of MoviePass. Inspired by the films and videos that shaped the organizer’s understanding of the moving image, BOOTLEG CINEMA will showcase a series of hard-to find and less-known films and videos over the course of 12-hour grindhouse style screenings. Each line-up will be announced the night before the screening, stay tuned for more info.

 

Hunter Shaw is a curator and art dealer based in Los Angeles. Shaw holds a BFA in film studies from NYU Tisch school of film and television, New York. Prior to opening his commercial gallery Hunter Shaw Fine Art in Los Angeles, Shaw curated film programing for Farewell books, Austin and Violet Crown Cinema, Austin.

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.

Every Fiber of My Being

 

Fiona Annis, Ursula Handleigh, Terrance Houle, Justin Waddell

 

Curated by Stephanie Deumer

 

July 9-August 6, 2018

Opening reception: July 9, 7pm-10pm

 

ELEVATOR MONDAYS

1026 Venice Blvd, Suite E

Los Angeles, CA 90015

 

Every Fiber of My Being brings together four Canadian artists whose work addresses inherited regional, immigrant, and indigenous experiences in Canada. The photographic and time-based pieces engage in political and geographical environments, the poetics of memory, and the humor of coping mechanisms, all through various lenses and processes.

 

Ursula Handleigh’s Needlework (2016) contemplates inherited ancestral stories from England and the Philippines. By way of camera-less photography, Handleigh stitches images of family members into blank pieces of photographic paper, and then floats them in developing baths in the darkroom. Through this process, the stitching absorbs the liquid developer along the lines of the sewn image, which then bleeds onto the photo paper, creating a line drawing that is both representational and poetic in its reference to bloodlines, inheritance, and the transferring of memory.

 

Justin Waddell’s practice also engages in family archive, focusing on a Japanese internment camp where his relatives were held in British Columbia. Photographing Canadian-mined clay draped over objects recovered from the historical site, his images recall the dilapidated tents and terrifying living conditions in which detainees were forced to live.

 

With the use of an ice fishing tent, Fiona Annis develops analog photography immediately on-site during shoots, producing images in the same environment and setting that they visually represent. The fishing tent, a provisional and fibrous structure, is not an ideal darkroom, and thus creates challenges for developing images. In Untitled (shadows, signs, wonders – No. 2) (2013) Annis exposed a piece of photographic paper for a period of time inside the tent, in turn capturing the light-leaks and phantom images of the surrounding exterior landscape.

 

In Aakaisttsiiksiinaakii: Many Snake Woman: “The Daughters After Me” (2008), Terrance Houle references a painting of his grandmother, May Weaselfat, made by European romantic-style painter Reinhold Reiss. For the sitting, Reiss provided Weaselfat with a prop—a blanket draped over her—to depict her as a “noble savage.” Houle’s video features female family members, including his grandmother, mother, sister, and daughter, sitting for portraits in a similar pose, and draped in a similar blanket. While the work attempts to honor the women in his family, it also interrogates the inescapable and perpetual Western image of the “vanishing Indian.”

 

Stephanie Deumer (b.1989, Oakville, Ontario) is a Canadian artist currently living and working in Los Angeles. In 2018 she participated in The Dark Arts Residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity in Alberta, and was awarded a 2018 Artist Grant from Bar-Fund LA. Currently, her work is on display in Far from Fixed at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Center in Kingston, Ontario. Recent exhibitions include CO/LAB III, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance (2018); Real Shadows for Mere Bodies, College of the Canyons, Valencia (2017); and The Body of Language and The Motion of Words, PAVED Arts, Saskatoon (2017). Deumer received a BA at the University of Guelph, an MFA at California Institute of the Arts, and will be a 2018/2019 attendee of the Whitney ISP in New York.

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7pm-10pm and by appointment.

Relative Space

Relative Space

 

Victoria Fu

Chandler McWilliams

Alison O’Daniel

Debra Scacco

LeRoy Stevens

Mungo Thomson

 

Curated by Asha Bukojemsky

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

                                                                                                           – Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

In 1977, a man and a woman go for a lakeside picnic in Chicago. They bring with them the usual provisions: blanket, pillows, picnic basket, and reading material including Scientific America and The Voices of Time. Music plays, and a narrator begins to describe the scene as a mathematical lesson. This is, after all, a short film produced by Charles & Ray Eames to explain “the relative size of things in the universe”. In Powers of Ten, the lens zooms away from the picnic and deep into the galaxy, only to race back to earth and end up as a DNA particle floating in another expansive internal space. While the film served as a visual tool for mathematical and scientific learning, what it really taught us was about the relativity of self.

Unifying the distant cosmos and depths of our own bodies into one vast, imagined space, Ray & Charles Eames produced a film that was as much about phenomenological imagination as it was about math. Taking a similar approach, the exhibition Relative Space brings together six artists that each investigate the power of perception and the relativity of self, adopting a zoom in/zoom out method that analyzes the spaces of our perceived reality and the structures that determine them.

I am the space where I am. [1]

In LeRoy Stevens’ video Cosmos, the artist takes the soundtrack from Carl Sagan’s iconic show (Cosmos: A Personal Voyage) and plays it over muted commercials that aired during an episode of the 2014 remake (Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey). Separating the cosmic music from its designated source, Stevens reveals how this acousmatic sound gives weight and sensation to an otherwise silent space. Stripping away the commercial’s original sound, Stevens exposes the advertising systems in place, as well as our own ability to fill in what we can’t hear. The very same language used to illustrate the cosmos by Sagan is used to describe a Samsung device and a Carls Jr burger, while Red Bull promises to “gives you wings” and skittles lets you “touch the rainbow.” By contrasting the epic scale instilled by the soundtrack against vapid depictions of a life better lived, Cosmos presents a sum that is better than any of the individual parts.

In Upside Down, Inner Ear 2 Alison O’Daniel takes the silicon casts made for hearing aids from the ears of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals who see the same audiologist as the artist, and plates them in bronze. In doing so, the artist bears physical and metaphorical weight to that which was previously concealed. Separating the inner ear from its place of origin and rendering it as a visual object, O’Daniel presents the manifestation of a certain experience of sound within a field of vision. O’Daniel, in turn, materializes sound and demonstrate the power of “hearing oneself seeing… hearing ourselves listen.”[2]

Illuminating the negative, Mungo Thomson’s Dark Matter presents a reverse image of a nighttime sky. Printed on photo-luminescent ink, the work recalls glow-in-the-dark stickers placed in childhood bedrooms, yet in this case it is not the stars that glow but the mass of space that surrounds them. Here the stars recede, and Dark Matter illuminates an otherwise dark space with a negative version of night. Presenting a starry sky like a map to our subjective unconscious, Thomson ironically plays with both subject and object, recalling nighttime fears and the cheap tricks our parents used to make us feel safe.

In Points Prized Open, Chandler McWilliams examines the space between language and imagination. Using unlit, clear neon’s, the artist places two words – Almost Nothing – one on top of the other. Playing with language, McWilliams investigates the invisible power of words to both transform and transport our sense of the world. In remaining unlit, the neon’s spectacle is removed and reveals that which is barely there, while also calling attention to the power of light & color to sway our innermost desires.

Mimicking video projections onto a wall, Victoria Fu’s Large Circle 4 plays to our perceptive powers and the imagined spaces of digital reality. As if taking a photograph from one of her video projections, Fu presents an oval gradient color field within the corner of two walls. Like a passing light, the work is both fleeting while also immobilized.  In positioning the work in-between, Fu presents this blurred image both temporally and spatially. This corner, a “symbol of solitude for the imagination”[3] allows for the mundane extracted digital image to capture a moment unto itself, as though to communicate a sense of individuality within a stream of visual data.

In the Eames’s Powers of Ten, space is measured in seconds. With each ten seconds the square that frames the picnic produces another square, on and on until the lines of demarcation become mere drawings in space. In The Letting Go, Debra Scacco applies a similar process of repetitive amplification to chart her personal trajectory through time and space. Using metallic ink on black paper the artist draws 19 lines within seven groupings that each refer to a boundary significant to her history. Resembling computer-generated images of constellations, the drawings read like spatial maps, reducing time and space to singular lines.

While Relative Space presents a reconsideration of the Eames’s Powers of Ten, the title for this show is in no less an homage to the very space it inhabits- an elevator. A device used to transport and deliver. With exception to the occasional fleeting act of fantasy, the elevator is not a meeting place, a safe space, a designated space or a particularly pleasurable space. If an elevator is a space at all it is a relative one, where its own references and lack of designation simultaneously call to mind the corners and “outside” spaces referred to by Bachelard, as well as conjuring the cosmos and digital realities we embrace.

Asha Bukojemsky is an independent curator living in Los Angeles. Current projects include MARATHON SCREENINGS, a monthly salon-style presentation of video and conceptual film, and LA Transcendental Listenings, a series of conceptual walks throughout the LA region in collaboration with the artist David Horvitz. Recent exhibitions include Labor Day at Chicken Coop Contemporary, Portland, OR, and PARATEXTUAL at Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles.

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.

[1] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans Maria Jolas (New York: Penguin Books, 2014), p156

[2] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans Maria Jolas (New York: Penguin Books, 2014), p199

[3] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans Maria Jolas (New York: Penguin Books, 2014), p154

The exhibition will be on view Mondays7-10pm and by appointment through June 25th.

 

More is Different

More is Different

Opening Reception: Monday, April 23, 2018 / 7 – 10 PM

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is pleased to present More is Different, a group exhibition featuring the work of Greg Curtis, Makenzie Goodman, Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai, Jennette June, Adam Stacey, and Joan Weinzettle curated by GAIT.  The exhibition opens Monday, April 23, 2018 from 7-10 pm and will be on view Mondays, 7-10pm and by appointment through May 21, 2018.

Symmetry–while invested fully in space and time–is not restricted to physical objects and bodies. As artist Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai notes in their performance “Other Symmetries,” the logic of symmetry can be applied to reciprocal acts, mutual agreements, and one-to-one correspondence. Or as Prima writes, “Everything is symmetrical as long as you can draw a line. This ‘everything’ refers to body, gender, language, and destiny.” Symmetry permeates most disciplines and aesthetics. In the most casual sense, it can embody balance and harmony as in basic design principles.  More precisely, symmetry referring to specific theoretical transformations in particle physics like with the breaking of electroweak symmetry or the associated Higgs field.  A human’s desire for symmetry is well-documented in studies in which participants are asked to judge faces and bodies based on attractiveness.  Symmetrical features consistently outscore those considered asymmetrical, pointing to deep biological programming within human DNA that connects symmetrical features with traits desirable for reproduction.  We often “perform” symmetry and “symmetrical” acts.  Perhaps stemming from a early conditioning to be obedient, create order, seek certainty, and efficiency.  For this reason, and in public group settings, we seek symmetry compulsively: moving through an intersection, claiming luggage at the airport or trying on shoes.

This exhibition, More Is Different, borrows its title from a 1972 article penned by the physicist P.W. Anderson, in which he “emphasizes the limitations of reductionism within the sciences,” making a case for specificity.   The artwork of More is Different engages the notion of symmetry through sociological investigations of replication and the framework of standardization.  Ultimately broadening the definitions of what can be symmetrical.  

Greg Curtis’ Untitled depicts a visitor in the act of photographing a chimpanzee at the zoo on a cell phone, printed on a large wall vinyl that at once captures the image being taken by the visitor and the constructed environment that facilitates it. Two framed 17″ x 22″ pieces of metallic photo paper are installed on top of the vinyl, unsettling the location of the image within the installation.  Makenzie Goodman and Adam Stacey’s collaborative projects create installations incorporating photographs, cast objects, and found objects sourced and documented from sites in the American Southwest.   Part of an ongoing project exploring a shrinking western town in Texas, Goodman and Stacey present a pile of cast railroad ties.  Today, the town, like the state of the railroads, lies somewhere between the enduring myth of the West and a present-day ghost town.  Prima Jalichandra-Sakuntabhai will perform Other Symmetries during the opening reception.  Other Symmetries is a parody of an artist talk that, literally transforms the space of the lecture into a space of symmetry. By using a two-way mirror, superimposing an overhead projector onto projection of slides, drawing semiotic square and infinity equations, the performance plays on the layering of information to the point of overload.   After the opening, a soundtrack will play in the elevator, as residue of the performance. Jennette June creates textured paintings invested in material responsivity.  Through her intuitive mark making and application of materials, Jennette June displays a sensually dense visual field that communicates with a personalized visual vocabulary.  Joan Weinzettle draws with thread, presenting two hand sewn grids that alter spatial perceptions.  These grids, made consecutively, offer subtle shifts in line and form.

GAIT is a curatorial project dedicated to presenting exhibitions emphasizing experimentation and site specificity in Los Angeles CA.  

EM + ZK/U @ Torrance Art Museum

BBQLA / Axel Obiger

Dalton Warehouse /  COPYRIGHTberlin

Durden and Ray / HilbertRaum

ESXLA / Scotty e.V.

Monte Vista Projects / Å+

PØST / LAGE EGAL

ELEVATOR MONDAYS / ZK/U

Tiger Strikes Asteroid / oMo artspace

 

CO/LAB III @ Torrance Art Museum

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is excited to announce our participation in CO/LAB III at the Torrance Art Museum. Organized by the Torrance Art Museum, CO/LAB III is an international curatorial initiative to bring together artist-run galleries/spaces from Los Angeles and Berlin. For the exhibition 8 LA-based spaces have been paired with 8 Berlin-based spaces to create collaborative curatorial projects focused on emerging artists. ELEVATOR MONDAYS (LA) is proud to be partnered with ZK/U (Berlin), an artist-run space focused on socially engaged projects around local and international exchanges. The exhibition opens Saturday, March 31, 6-9 pm and will be on view through May 18th, 2018. TAM is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm and is located at 3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrence, CA 90503.

For this exhibition ELEVATOR MONDAYS and ZK/U collaborated on a curatorial project revolving around our shared commitment to socially engaged work. ZK/U will present new posters and videos produced for the exhibition by Umschichten, Christian Hasucha, and KUNSTrePUBLIK. ELEVATOR MONDAYS will present video and sculpture works by Maura Brewer & Paul Pescador, Cara Chan, Stephanie Deumer, Ann Hirsch, Sasha Bergstrom-Katz, Matt Town and Molly Surazhsky.

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by artist Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7pm-10pm and by appointment.

ZK/U is an artist-run cultural hub in a former railway depot. ZK/U seeks to develop projects, co-produce knowledge and share values created through exchanges. ZK/U does not offer a fixed set of ideas and principles for its fellows. Rather, individual projects and needs shape what could be described as a continuous formation. Instead of letting the ‘final product’ constrain the possible routes that a practice might take, ZK/U focuses on the processes that come from, and feed into, the particular contexts of the fellows’ practice, whether they be locally-defined situations or international discourses.

TWISTER featuring Filip Kostic and Theo Triantafyllidis

“Twister became a success when actress Eva Gabor played it with Johnny Carson on television’s The Tonight Show on May 3, 1966. The company that produced it, Milton Bradley, was accused by its competitors of selling “sex in a box”.”

                 – Wikipedia.com

TWISTER

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is proud to announce TWISTER a two person exhibition featuring Filip Kostic and Theo Triantafyllidis. TWISTER is a site-specific VR installation and game for two players. Inspired by the classic Milton Bradley board game that requires players to use their physical bodies as the playing pieces, Kostic and Triantafyllidis created a VR environment that emphasizes the body of the viewer as the object to be viewed. The exhibition opens Monday, March 12, 7-10 pm and will be on view Mondays, 7-10pm and by appointment through April 16th.

In a post-real culture where relationships and intimacy are dominated by social media and dating apps, we find our bodies becoming evermore absorbed into virtual space. TWISTER is an experimental installation for networking physical bodies through a digital intermediate. Presented in VR, the installation creates uncanny experiences far beyond the limitations of our antiquated notions of “the real”. The apparatus (HTC Vive) provides a digital apparition that guides the minds of the viewers through an infinite non-physical game while their bodies remain limited to the gallery space (an elevator). Disguised as a VR game, TWISTER functions as a proxy-trap for collaborative performance. By creating digital conditions in which players awkwardly bend, kink, and contort their bodies in physical space, Kostic and Triantafyllidis explore the ever-blurring boundaries between material space and digital space.

Filip Kostic is a new media artist working primarily in sculpture, VR and immersive Technology. Kostic has held solo exhibitions at Rogers Office, Los Angeles; and Art Center college of art and design, Los Angeles. He is an Adjunct Professor of VR and immersive technology at Art Center. Kostic lives and works in Los Angeles. Theo Triantafyllidis is a new media artist working in sculpture, video, and VR. He has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at The Breeder Gallery, Athens; Sargent’s Daughters Gallery, New York; and Experimental Digital Arts Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles. He was a featured artist in Hyper Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale and his work is held in public collections including Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Servais Family Collection, Brussels; and Fondazione Golinelli, Bologna. Triantafyllidis lives and works in Los Angeles.

ELEVATOR MONDAYS is an artist-run curatorial project inside a converted freight elevator founded by Don Edler. The project focuses on bringing together working artists in a social exhibition space to foster dialogue and community through exhibitions and special programing. ELEVATOR MONDAYS is open Mondays from 7PM-10PM and by appointment.

ELEVATOR MONDAYS in CARLA issue #10

http://contemporaryartreview.la/tactility-of-the-line-at-elevator-mondays/

Tactility of the Line at Elevator Mondays

Text by Angella d’Avignon

Michael Kennedy Costa, Low Wind (2016). Ink on Paper, 8.5 x 11 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

As a teen I practiced “finding the apex” while driving the winding back stretch of road to my parents’ house. Finding the apex, or “finding the line” as it’s defined by race car drivers, was a strategy my brother taught me to go faster: instead of hugging turns, I guided the car toward the center of the street to avoid losing time by turning the wheel. I made my own path outside the painted boundaries provided by the city, believing wholeheartedly that I was accelerating through my dull suburban girlhood. My teenage angst was confined by the road, or so I thought, and finding the line was a way to seek a path where speed added to the illusion of my great escape. The line was what I made it.

Though the primacy of the line is postured as a curatorial departure point in Tactility of the Line, a group exhibition at Elevator Mondays, five artists transcend its simplicity and use it as a way to embody a central energy, expressing it through texture, an illusion of movement, and volume in order to consider its implications beyond its trapped position in formal art historical contexts. By elaborating shape and mood, the artists offer a more palpable experience that’s sharpened by the tight quarters of the space: a small freight elevator.

Art meets the body at a kinetic point; the distance between an artist and her work—both psychic and physical—is undeniably intimate. When shown in a cramped space like an elevator, this distance is instantly mitigated. To be close to art—to smell it or bump against it feels antithetical to more traditional spaces like galleries or museums where close proximity to art is discouraged.

Tactility of the Line (2017) (installation view). Image courtesy of ELEVATOR MONDAYS.

One of the biggest payoffs to being close to the art in Tactility is found in the color and texture of Jonathan Ryan’s painting Rio Trio (2016), which pulls the eye like an obstacle course. Its bright graphic quality evinces monster truck rallies with a serpentine racetrack that is stippled with actual dirt. A flat lack of perspective not unlike an ancient bas relief lets time collapse through the curves of orange and white striped chicanes. On the opposite wall, hangs Michael Kennedy Costa’s inky Low Wind (2016), whose title speaks of natural or windblown movement and evidences an emotive touch within a convention of line work. Costa’s curvature is spirited and open. A wispy portrait emerges.

The only truly touchable piece is Tanya Brodsky’s OH, YEAAHH (2017), which acts as the literal gateway to the exhibition, adhered to the elevator’s entrance. Her sculptural metal gate is made to look pliable, with bent grates cradling a giant yellow balloon. The Gallagher-style humor in Brodsky’s fictive gate softens the act of disfiguration, making hard metal seem responsive to the slightest touch as it swings through the space.

Elsewhere, Connor Fields utilizes materiality to propose a bit of physics-defying magic in Sedimentary Straw (2017). A bendy plastic straw shunts through a seemingly hard mineral hung high above the door; its vantage point is only accessible if you step inside the room, standing near Fields’ Green Stratum(2017), a floor piece of a sulky rock-like form with a green strip of silicone sediment. It sits heavy next to Ariel Herwitz’s Olive Branch (2017), a tangle of overdyed yarn the color of mopwater that hung hairlike from a cut of maple wood and suspended a few inches above the floor, barely levitating despite its tired weight. It reads as an offering to the room and is bound with a rust-like ceramic ring, cut before it completes its circle. Both works feel totemic and earthbound without cliché symbolism, their languid quality contrast with the humor and lightness found in other works.

In the round, the arrangement of Tactility bounces between feeling free form and crowded, compressed but expressive. There’s an unexpected freedom in the confinement at Elevator Mondays that leads the act of looking without any easy choices or right turns. There is no going fast, but rather the viewer is forced to move incrementally, reestablishing a relationship to their body—boundaries can be intimate and constraints often lead to deeper and more exciting results.

Tactility of the Line ran from September 18–October 23, 2017 at Elevator Mondays (1026 Venice Blvd., Suite E, Los Angeles, CA 90015).

Conor Fields, Green Stratum(2016-2017). Rock, silicone, pigment, 14 in x 18 in x 12 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and ELEVATOR MONDAYS.

Jonathan Ryan, Rio Trio (2016). Paver sand and oil on canvas / 30.25 x 40 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

Ariel Herwitz, Olive Branch(2017). Stoneware, overdyed yarn, maple. 56.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.

 

Originally published in Carla issue 10.