Work (All the cigarette breaks), 2007–2014
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Friday, August 25, 2017
Sunday, August 20, 2017
José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros
Organized by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in cooperation with the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA, How to Read El Pato Pascual: Disney’s Latin America and Latin America’s Disney is a Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibition of over 150 works by 48 Latin American artists who investigate and challenge nearly one hundred years of cultural influence between Latin America and Disney. Spanning painting, photography, graphic work, drawing, sculpture, video, documents, and the critical responses generated, the joint exhibition explores the idea that there are no clean boundaries between art, culture, and geography, and deconstructs how such notions are formed and disputed.
The exhibition’s curators, filmmaker/writer Jesse Lerner and artist Rubén Ortiz-Torres, thoroughly examined Disney’s long engagement with Latin American culture, from Donald Duck’s first featured role in the 1937 Mexican-themed short Don Donald to the company’s 2013 attempt to trademark the Day of the Dead. Lerner and Oritz-Torres’s research further drew from a pivotal trip Walt Disney took with his team to South America in 1941. Along with a group of fifteen animators, musicians, and screenwriters, Disney flew to over five South American countries as part of a U.S. government-directed effort to promote the “Good Neighbor” policy during the Second World War. In addition to the celebrated film The Three Caballeros, this trip produced the feature Saludos Amigos; a “making of” documentary titled South of the Border with Disney; and propaganda films such as The Grain that Built a Hemisphere.
The infamous 1971 Chilean book by scholars Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, Para leer al Pato Donald (How to Read Donald Duck), was brought to Ortiz-Torres’s attention while studying with artist Michael Asher at the Disney-funded CalArts in the 1990s. The book (formerly banned in Chile and threatened by legal action in the U.S.) provides a structural analysis denouncing the ways in which Disney comic books were used as vehicles to justify and promote U.S. policies and cultural imperialism.
As curators, Lerner and Ortiz-Torres intend to show that Disney cannot be seen as something simply exported to the rest of the Americas, and passively received. Like any other cultural force or mythology in Latin America, Disney imagery has always been quickly reinterpreted, assimilated, adapted, cannibalized, syncretized, and subverted by artists: sculptor Nadín Ospina creates pre-Columbian-like objects portraying Disney characters using carved stone and gold; artist Enrique Chagoya juxtaposes imagery from codices, indigenous iconography, and popular graphics that include Disney characters in a postcolonial critique; Liliana Porter has produced conceptual graphics and photography where Disney toys are juxtaposed with recognizable figures such as Che Guevara. Photographs like Antonio Turok’s show how Disney iconography has been intertwined with daily life in Latin America. Arturo Herrera’s work plays with our almost innate ability to immediately recognize Disney characters, no matter how abstracted: the artist will present a new mural near the Schindler House, on the side of the West Elm building at 8366 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles 90048, on view through the length of the exhibition.
Due to its size and scope, the exhibition will be presented in two locations: the Schindler House in West Hollywood and the Luckman Gallery at Cal State LA. One is an intimate 1922 modernist historical landmark loved by architecture and design enthusiasts; the other is a large gallery space situated across town and catering to a diverse and young campus audience.
A catalogue published by Black Dog Publishing and designed by Jorge Verdin accompanies the exhibition. Included is an introduction by the curators; essays by Fabián Cereijido, Nate Harrison, Jesse Lerner, Rubén Ortiz-Torres, Darlene J. Sadlier, and Carla Zaccagnini; a reprinting of the English version of Para leer al Pato Donald (How to Read Donald Duck) from 1973; Ariel Dorfman’s reflections on the book; and a checklist of works with full-color images. The publication will be in both English and Spanish.
Jesse Lerner and Rubén Oritz-Torres each bring considerable knowledge to the exhibition project and publication. Both are artists and academics—teaching at Pitzer College and UC San Diego, respectively—whose work explores the boundaries of culture and art; their fields of expertise and methodologies, though distinct, complement each other and often overlap. They previously collaborated in the production of the film Frontierland and in curating MEX/LA, ‘Mexican’ Modernism(s) in Los Angeles 1930-1985 for the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach in 2011. Scholar Fabián Cereijido is the assistant curator of the exhibition.
Exhibition artists: Lalo Alcaraz, Florencia Aliberti, Sergio Allevato, Pedro Álvarez, Carlos Amorales, Rafael Bqueer, Mel Casas, Alida Cervantes, Enrique Chagoya, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Minerva Cuevas, Einar and Jamex De la Torre, Rodrigo Dorfman, Dr. Lakra, El Ferrus, Demián Flores, Pedro Friedeberg, Scherezade Garcia, Alicia Mihai Gazcue, Arturo Herrera, Alberto Ibañez, Claudio Larrea, Nelson Leirner, Fernando Lindote, José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, Marcos López, José Luis and José Carlos Martinat, Carlos Mendoza, Pedro Meyer, Florencio Molina Campos, Mondongo, Jaime Muñoz, Rivane Neuenschwander, Rafael Montañez Ortiz, Nadín Ospina, Leopoldo Peña, Liliana Porter, Artemio Rodríguez, Agustín Sabella, Daniel Santoro, Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Antonio Turok, Meyer Vaisman, Ramón Valdiosera Berman, Angela Wilmot, Robert Yager, Carla Zaccagnini.
On view September 11, 2017–January 14, 2018
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Saturday, August 5, 2017
A wooden die can be described only from without. We are therefore condemned to eternal ignorance of its essence. Even if it is cut in two, immediately its inside becomes a wall and there occurs the lightning-swift transformation of a mystery into a skin.
For this reason it is impossible to lay foundations for the psychology of a stone ball, of an iron bar, of a wooden cube.
Zbigniew Herbert, 1968
At the table you should sit calmly and not daydream. Let us recall what an effort it took for the stormy ocean tides to arrange themselves in quiet rings. A moment of inattention and everything might wash away. It is also forbidden to rub the table legs, as they are very sensitive. Everything at the table must be done coolly and matter-of-factly. You can't sit down here with things not completely thought through. For daydreaming we have been given other objects made of wood: the forest, the bed.
Zbigniew Herbert, 1961
Thursday, August 3, 2017
Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Τι σημαίνουν εκείνα τα ονόματα;
Και ποια βουνά μοιράζουν το κρύο σε στόμα και μάτια;
Πάντα υπάρχει ένας Βορράς άγρια ποθητός με γένια αιχμηρά
και πολύ περπάτημα μέχρι τα νερά που καθρεφτίζουν –
η εικόνα τραντάζει το σώμα
Σαν να ’ταν η πρώτη φορά
Επειδή δεν είμαι εκείνος
Δεν αντέχω να νιώσω ποιος είναι αυτός που μου στέλνει τον άνεμο
αυτή η πλαγιά οι κέδροι – μπορεί να μου ρίξει και σκόνη
Αρκετά κοντά μου είναι τα σπάρτα
Ποια σκοτεινιά θα νιώσουν κι αυτά
Ο ήλιος χαμηλώνει η ελιά ρίχνει τον ίσκιο της
Φυσάει και λυγίζουν προς το φως
Χρήστος Σιορίκης, Παίδες πηγών
The Ulm Stool was designed by Max Bill and Hans Gugelot in 1955 for the influential Ulm School of Design which saw itself as the legitimate West German heir to the Bauhaus School. Minimize design, maximize usage: with this credo Max Bill designed the simple yet perfect Ulm Stool. The Ulm Stool belongs to the movement of concrete art - a movement that promoted sobriety and simplicity of lines and shapes. Max Bill's Ulm Stool (also known as the Max Bill Ulmer Hocker) is a revered Bauhaus icon that has transcended time and space. Light and robust, this Donald Judd-like minimalistic piece of furniture is one of those items that never looks out of place, wherever it is placed. The success of the Ulm Stool lies in its versatility and convenience: it is not just a seat, it can also be used as a side table, shelf unit, box for transportation, a serving tray or a bedside table-top unit. It is easy, simple, minimalist and looks like a little piece of art.